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Sebastian Telfair is rediscovering his game

The backup point guard looks good in exhibition victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv.

October 21, 2009|Lisa Dillman

There was his behind-the-back pass setting up yet another Blake Griffin dunk in the first quarter.

But, better yet, there was a steal and an explosive drive to the basket with a little more than five minutes left in the third quarter.

The latter, of course, was a much bigger test for Clippers backup point guard Sebastian Telfair, who had been limited to one preseason game because of a sore right hamstring.

Game No. 2 was against Maccabi Tel Aviv and he played 24 minutes and had 15 points and seven assists in the Clippers' 108-96 victory on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

"It was a pretty good one considering the fact that I didn't get fatigued like I thought I would get," Telfair said. "I was in a lot better shape than I thought I was in, not playing the last couple of games."

Chris Kaman had 18 points and Griffin added 13. Sitting out were Al Thornton (right arm) and Marcus Camby (left ankle). Rasual Butler, who was supposed to have the night off, decided he wanted to play and sent Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy a text saying just that earlier in the day.

Rush hour

And the last Clippers' roster spot belongs to . . . Kareem Rush.

Rush, who came to camp as a free agent, said before the exhibition against Tel Aviv that Dunleavy told him he would be sticking around.

The Clippers, who were deciding whether to carry 14 or 15 players, could have waited until Thursday morning to make a decision but wanted to let Rush know the news earlier so he wouldn't find himself pressing against Maccabi.

"I've put myself in position to make this team," Rush said. "I think I've done a great job of establishing myself and showing what I'm capable of doing."

The Clippers like the depth Rush gives them on the perimeter and his ability to hit the open shot.

"It's just what I do. I've been a shooter all my career," he said. "My job is to come down here and knock down open shots."

The Blake show

Rush, the former Laker, was asked about Griffin's dunk Sunday against the Lakers in the fourth quarter.

"It was amazing," Rush said. "He's a YouTube fanatic. I told him I need 10% of all royalties from the posters he's gonna sell. Blake's a great talent. He's going to be a great player in this league."

Did he get the 10% in writing? "I think it's just a gentleman's handshake deal, for 10%," Rush said, laughing.

The Clippers are impressed by how Griffin is handling the typical rookie hazing. Telfair, recalling his own rookie days, approved of Griffin's attitude.

"I was doing a lot of running around, a lot of random stuff. I played with a lot of veterans when I came in -- Damon Stoudamire, Nick Van Exel, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and those guys," Telfair said. "It was pretty easy. I listened like Blake is doing now. The more you listen, the easier it'll be for you."

Still, the players are making Griffin tote around a pink Dora the Explorer backpack.

"When we were in San Antonio, he was with the fans signing autographs," Telfair said. "He was fully dressed and had his backpack on. I could see the fans and their look. They were wondering why did he have that book bag?'"


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