Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/15

Game 1: Friday, November 15th
Trail Blazers112
Game 2: Wednesday, December 18th
Trail Blazers97Final
Game 3: Friday, February 28th
Trail Blazers109
Game 4: Wednesday, April 16th
Trail Blazers93Final

Trail Blazers 93

(50-32, 23-18 away)

Clippers 107

(27-55, 16-25 home)

    Coverage: FSW

    7:30 PM ET, April 16, 2003

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 17 30 25 2193
    LAC 24 28 25 30107

    Top Performers

    Por: R. Wallace 15 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    LAC: L. Odom 24 Pts, 13 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Blazers to face Mavs in first round of playoffs

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Clippers couldn't help themselves, so they did a favor for the Lakers, their Staples Center co-tenants.

    Lamar Odom

    Lamar Odom had 24 points and 13 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated Portland 107-93 Wednesday night, dropping the playoff-bound Trail Blazers to sixth place in the Western Conference.

    The loss means the Blazers, and not the Lakers, will play Dallas in the first round of the playoffs.

    "I don't know if it's a better matchup or a worse matchup,'' Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "Dallas has got guys that can play. We'll have our work cut out for us.''

    The Clippers' victory coupled with the Lakers' 117-111 win at Golden State allowed the Lakers to move up into the fifth spot. They will open defense of their NBA title against Minnesota.

    "Aw, I'm glad we won, but I wanted to see Dallas-Lakers in the first round,'' Clippers guard Eric Piatkowski said. "Mark Cuban should send us all bonuses, shouldn't he? They didn't want to see the Lakers in the first round.''

    The Clippers aren't going anywhere, although they ended another losing chapter with their first victory over Portland this season. Los Angeles won its final three games to finish 27-55. The Clippers wound up 13th among 14 Western Conference teams and last in the Pacific Division.

    "At least we finished off playing good basketball,'' said Piatkowski, who believes interim coach Dennis Johnson made a strong case for staying permanently.

    "The way he got this team to play the last three games was awfully impressive,'' he said. "Most teams when they're in that situation just give up. Well, we just got stronger playing the last three games.''

    Andre Miller added 19 points as five Clippers scored in double figures. Elton Brand had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Keyon Dooling added 16 points and Marko Jaric had 13 points. The team shot 56 percent.

    "We just wanted to spoil something for somebody,'' Brand said. "Our season is over, so we wanted to play well and get another victim.''

    After letting Portland take a one-point lead in the third quarter, the Clippers dominated the final 12 minutes. The Blazers got no closer than four points before Los Angeles opened a double-digit lead for all of the final seven minutes.

    Bonzi Wells led Portland with 19 points and Rasheed Wallace added 15 points. Scottie Pippen was held to just three points on 1-of-9 shooting in his second game since coming off the injured list.

    "We didn't get pressure on the ball and didn't play team defense,'' Blazers guard Derek Anderson said. "We were tired a little bit, but you can't let it become a factor.''

    Johnson finished with an 8-16 mark after taking over March 3 when Alvin Gentry was fired. He used all 10 of the Clippers' available players and Tremaine Fowlkes was the only one who didn't score.

    "It was nice to see that every fan in the building was standing up and cheering, it was nice to see that these guys were happy walking off the floor,'' Johnson said. "I did what I could do. It's up to them to say whether I deserve to be here or not.''

    The Blazers missed several shots that prevented them from making a serious run in the fourth. The Clippers were especially effective from 3-point range, going 9-for-13 for the game, including three long-range baskets in the fourth.

    The Blazers used a 14-4 run, capped by Wells' flying dunk, midway through the third quarter to pull within one, 66-65. Wallace tied the game at 70 on a 3-pointer and a basket by former Clipper Jeff McInnis gave Portland a 72-71 lead, its first since the game's opening minute.

    But the Clippers ran off six straight points, capped by Piatkowski's fast-break layup, to end the third ahead 77-72.

    "They played street ball. They didn't have anything to play for,'' said McInnis, who visited the Clippers' locker room after the game. "They were all talking trash at me, but most of them wished me luck in the playoffs.''

    It could have been the final game in a Clippers uniform for several players. Piatkowski, Sean Rooks and Michael Olowokandi are eligible to become unrestricted free agents July 1. Brand, Miller, Corey Maggette and Odom will be restricted free agents, with the Clippers holding the right to match any offer.

    "Hopefully a lot of guys will be back. Coach DJ, hopefully they take care of him because I think he earned a shot,'' Brand said. "We put together some good games that people should take notice from.''

    Game notes

    The Blazers placed C Dale Davis on the injured list with a lower back strain and activated C Chris Dudley. ... Clippers F Maggette did not play because of bruised ribs. ... Portland won the season series 3-1 for the second straight year. ... C Rooks didn't play because he was suspended one game for fighting with Troy Murphy at Golden State on Monday. ... The crowd of 19,060 was the Clippers' ninth sellout.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 107
    FGM-FGA 37-89 (.416) 44-78 (.564)
    3PM-3PA 5-16 (.313) 9-13 (.692)
    FTM-FTA 14-18 (.778) 10-21 (.476)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-40 11-43
    Assists 21 22
    Turnovers 13 16
    Steals 8 8
    Blocks 2 9
    Fast Break Points 3 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (1/0) 17 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Rasheed Wallace Wallace
    Points: 15
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Lamar Odom Odom
    Points: 24
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3