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Clippers survive Brand's ejection

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Clippers started taking the
expansion Bobcats seriously just in time to eke out a victory.

Corey Maggette scored four of his 33 points in the second
overtime and the Clippers survived the fourth-quarter ejection of
Elton Brand to beat Charlotte 99-93 Monday night.

"We were having a problem finding motivation against those
guys," point guard Marko Jaric said. "They played an excellent
game. We started out very slow and very, very lazy, and we have to
understand that we are not the kind of team that can play that kind
of basketball."

It was the first overtime win in four tries this season for the
Clippers. After tying his career high with 34 points in Saturday's
OT loss to Minnesota, Maggette pulled out this win, going 4-of-4
from the free throw line in the second extra session.

Brand, held to a season-low 10 points Saturday, finished with 19
points to help the Clippers win for the sixth time in seven games.
Jaric, who had 10 assists, already has five double-digit assists
games -- two more than all of last season.

Jason Kapono and Primoz Brezec each had 14 points for the
Bobcats, who played without Gerald Wallace (concussion) and Jahidi
White (right shoulder strain). They have won four of their first 15
games, but are 0-7 on the road.

"We've certainly got things in perspective, in terms of where
we are and what we've got to do," coach Bernie Bickerstaff said.
"We've won four games, and the predictions were that we probably
wouldn't win any. Everybody comes after us every night because they
don't want to lose to us."

Charlotte rookie Emeka Okafor, who averaged 19.5 points and 12.6
rebounds over his previous six games, finished with 12 points and
15 boards.

Mikki Moore got the Clippers started in the second extra period
with a dunk with 4:36 remaining. No one else scored until Maggette
sank two free throws with 1:30 left for a four-point lead. Kapono
hit a 17-footer at the other end, but Chris Kaman responded for the
Clippers with a layup that gave them a 95-91 lead with 56 seconds
to play.

Okafor made it a two-point game with a pair of free throws, but
Simmons followed with a fadeaway 19-footer from the right baseline
with 10.4 seconds remaining and Maggette added two free throws.

Moore's layup tied it at 85 with 2:05 left in the first
overtime, triggering a 6-0 spurt by the Clippers that ended with
two jumpers by Maggette.

But Kapono hit a baseline jumper and Brevin Knight drove coast
to coast for the tying layup with 11.4 seconds on the clock after
stripping the ball clean from Maggette.

The Bobcats missed nine of their first 10 shots in the fourth
quarter and the Clippers ran off eight straight points to turn a
five-point deficit into a 71-68 lead with 6:22 left in regulation.

Keith Bogans and Kapono responded with 3-pointers 10 seconds
apart, ending Charlotte's scoring drought and giving the Bobcats a
74-71 edge.

On the next possession, Brand took exception to Okafur's defense
and responded with an uncharacteristic flagrant foul that earned
him two technical fouls and an ejection with 3:28 remaining.

"It was just a push," Brand said. "It was frustration from
getting tangled up. I wasn't trying to start a fight or a melee or
anything. I was just trying to break away. But the league is
definitely cracking down on anything that goes on. I was having a
pretty good fourth quarter, so it was very difficult to watch after
that."

After Maggette's two free throws with 29 seconds left tied it at
79, both teams blew chances to win it. Knight missed a 13-footer
from the lane and Jaric missed a layup as the buzzer sounded.

The Clippers improved to 11-7, including the three overtime
losses.

"I'm happy for their success," said Bobcats forward Melvin
Ely, who spent his first two NBA seasons with the Clippers before
being traded to the Bobcats.

"Anything is possible when you're got players like Elton Brand
and Corey Maggette," Ely added. "And now they've got Chris Wilcox
playing to his potential and Bobby Simmons also playing well. So
it's not surprising at all."

Game notes
Shooting guard Kareem Rush, acquired earlier in the day by
the Bobcats from the Lakers for a pair of second-round draft picks,
was in uniform but did not play. ... Rush, who wore No. 21 with the
Lakers, had to pick another number because injured swingman Bernard
Robinson had it. So he chose No. 4 in honor of former Lakers
teammate Luke Walton and Rush's brother JaRon, who had that number
at UCLA.