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Magic lose ninth straight

11/16/2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Quentin Richardson was all the offense the
Los Angeles Clippers had in the first quarter. He and Corey
Maggette were all the defense they needed to contain Tracy McGrady
in the second half.

Richardson scored 31 points Saturday night and helped hold
McGrady to 19 following his 51-point outburst the night before as
the Los Angeles Clippers sent the Orlando Magic to their ninth
straight loss, 95-92 Saturday night.

"We knew McGrady was the guy that was going to take all the
shots and be the focal point," Maggette said. "Quentin slowed him
down, but we had to make shots, too, and `Q' hit big shots. At the
end of the game, you have to step up and be the leader and make
good defensive stops."

McGrady shot 7-for-16 and was held to just four points after
halftime.

"It's tough, especially when you've got a guy like Corey
guarding you. He's really tough. And if you get by him, you have
those other guys to deal with," McGrady said. "We should have had
those guys down by 20 to 25 points. We just gave them confidence,
and they got back in the game."

Maggette scored 17 points and Marko Jaric added 15 points off
the bench for the Clippers, who are 4-0 since losing a
season-opening two-game set to the Seattle SuperSonics in Japan.
It's their first four-game winning streak since March 2002.

"We just regrouped and forgot about the Japan trip,"
Richardson said.

Juwan Howard scored 22 points and McGrady had 19 for the Magic
(1-9), off to the worst start in the team's 15-year history. The
losing streak is their second-longest behind a 17-game drought
during 1991-92, the season before they drafted Shaquille O'Neal.

"We knew that they would come out strong because they wanted to
get on the left side of the won-lost column. But we ultimately did
a great job down the stretch getting stops when we needed them,"
Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said.

Jaric's 3-pointer capped a 9-0 spurt that gave the Clippers
their biggest lead, 71-63, with 3:37 left in the third quarter.
Howard and Keith Bogans kept the Magic within reach in the fourth,
and McGrady's driving layup put Orlando ahead 91-90 with 1:36 to
play.

The Clippers, who made just two field goals in the final 8:18,
regained the lead 32 seconds later when Maggette sank a pair of
free throws after rebounding a long jumper by Jaric. Drew Gooden
missed a turnaround 12-footer in the lane with 12 seconds left,
Chris Wilcox grabbed the rebound and sank two free throws at the
other end for a 94-91 lead.

Tyronn Lue made a free throw for the Magic, then missed the
second and Gooden failed to tip in the rebound. Richardson made one
of two at the line with 3.2 seconds to go, and Orlando failed to
advance the ball in time for a tying 3-point try.

The amazing thing about the Clippers is that they are winning
without their cornerstone, injured power forward Elton Brand.

Wilcox and rookie Chris Kaman, their two most recent No. 1 draft
picks, are making key contributions.

"We have a young group, and they're like plants -- if you water
them enough, they grow. If you don't, then they don't grow,"
Dunleavy said. "We've got some guys who are growing, and it's been
very positive for us. Guys are getting minutes at that position
that aren't normally going to be there."

Richardson, who had a career-high 32 points last Tuesday against
Atlanta, scored 15 in the first period on 7-of-11 shooting while
the rest of the Clippers were a combined 0-for-9 from the field and
were outscored 13-0 by McGrady.

The first Los Angeles basket by someone other than Richardson
didn't come until 1{ minutes into the second quarter when Eddie
House hit a 20-footer that cut Orlando's lead to 33-21.

Game notes
Prior to McGrady's 51-point effort, no player had scored at
least 50 in a losing cause since Dec. 26, 2001, when San Antonio's
Tim Duncan had 53 against Dallas. ... Brand, who has missed the
last five games because of a hairline stress fracture in his right
foot, was placed on the injured list Saturday. He was replaced on
the active roster by 14-year veteran F Glen Rice, who had been
sidelined since training camp with a hyperextended right knee. ...
Orlando F Pat Garrity will need a third surgery on his knee and
might not return this season. ... The Clippers, whose next game is
on Tuesday at Cleveland, have not won five straight since November
1995. ... The Clippers' 4-2 start matches their best in the
previous 11 seasons. They also won four of their first six in 1996.
... The Clippers were the only team in the league to have scored at
least 100 points in every game.