Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/23

Game 1: Wednesday, November 23rd
Game 2: Sunday, February 5th

Raptors 100

(1-11, 0-5 away)

Clippers 103

(9-2, 5-0 home)

    Coverage: FSW

    7:30 PM ET, November 23, 2005

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    TOR 30 28 23 19100
    LAC 24 24 30 25103

    Top Performers

    Tor: C. Bosh 24 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast

    LAC: E. Brand 21 Pts, 13 Reb, 4 Ast, 6 Blk

    Maggette, Cassell lead Clippers' late surge to victory

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Whenever the Los Angeles Clippers think they have everything figured out, coach Mike Dunleavy is there to remind them they don't. If that doesn't work, there are always hungry teams like the Toronto Raptors to give them a reality check.

    Corey Maggette scored 30 points Wednesday night and Sam Cassell had 10 of his 26 in the fourth quarter for the Clippers, who didn't take their first lead until less than 2½ minutes remained in their 103-100 victory over the Raptors.

    "I'm optimistic about how we've played, and I was optimistic all summer long about our abilities and our potential. But we haven't played any of the elite teams," Dunleavy said. "We haven't played Detroit yet. We haven't played San Antonio. So that tempers where we are.

    "When you come head-to-head with those kind of teams and beat them, then you get the feeling that you can take yourself up a couple of notches on the totem pole. Right now, I think we're a team that can make the playoffs if we stay healthy and continue to play the type of basketball we're playing."

    The Pacific Division-leading Clippers are off to the best start in the franchise's 36-year history at 9-2 and have matched the team high for most wins in November, set last season (9-6). Their 5-0 start at home also tied a club mark. The only other time they won their first five home games was 1983-84, their final season in San Diego.

    Brand, who was named Western Conference player of the week on Monday, had 21 points and 13 rebounds. He is the only player among the league's top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots per game.

    Chris Bosh scored 24 points for the Raptors, who have lost 11 of their first 12 games. The third-year forward, who had a career-high 23 field goal attempts in Tuesday's 90-82 loss at Phoenix, was 7-for-16 against the Clippers and finished with nine rebounds.

    Rookie Charlie Villanueva scored 18 points off the bench, but Jalen Rose missed his first eight shots and was 1-for-12 with six points.

    "It's frustrating to lose the ballgame, especially when we're giving a valiant effort," Rose said. "It's doubly frustrating because of the way I've been playing. The guys are doing what they can to help us win ballgames, and they need me to step up and play the way I'm capable of playing."

    Trailing by as many as 12 late in the first half, the Clippers didn't take their first lead until Brand's 17-foot jumper with 2:17 to play. Bosh made one of two free throws, and the Raptors pulled ahead 99-98 on a short running jumper by Mike James with 1:26 left after an offensive foul by Clippers center Chris Kaman.

    The Clippers regained the lead 14 seconds later on Kaman's hook shot. Matt Bonner missed a 3-point attempt from the right corner but Maggette's try for a clinching layup rolled in and out of the cylinder. The Raptors rebounded and called timeout to set up a play, but Morris Peterson missed another 3-point try with 8 seconds on the clock and Maggette iced it with two free throws.

    "They got aggressive and we didn't match their intensity level," James said.

    Cassell scored 10 straight Clippers points in a 2:56 span to keep Los Angeles within striking distance, and Maggette's 3-pointer tied it 96-all with 3:02 remaining.

    "Last year we definitely lose this game -- a close, tough game," Brand said after the Clippers' fourth straight victory. "But bringing in a guy like Sam Cassell who controls the clock in late-game situations helps us. He gets the ball where it needs to go."

    Game notes

    The Clippers' turnaround couldn't have come at a better time for Dunleavy, who is in the third year of a three-year contract that includes a club option for next season. "I'm not worried about the club talking to me about an extension," Dunleavy said. "I'd love to be here. Heck, I'd like to be here the next 10 years, but it's not my call. I mean, I came here because I wanted to be here. I've got this year, my option year is next year, and I would assume they're going to pick it up, but that's their call. We'll see what happens." ... Shaun Livingston, who hasn't played this season because of a lower back problem, is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam next week to determine whether he'll get clearance to start practicing. ... Quinton Ross played 19 scoreless minutes after missing the Clippers' previous two games because of back spasms.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 100 103
    FGM-FGA 33-87 (.379) 39-68 (.574)
    3PM-3PA 8-24 (.333) 2-7 (.286)
    FTM-FTA 26-32 (.813) 23-29 (.793)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-39 4-39
    Assists 21 22
    Turnovers 6 15
    Steals 4 2
    Blocks 1 12
    Fast Break Points 0 11
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (1/0) 25 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 12 3

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Chris Bosh Bosh
    Points: 24
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 21
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 6