They would still prefer their leading scorer to hurry back.
Chris Kaman tied a career high with 25 points and grabbed 10
rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter, Sam Cassell scored
24 points, and the Clippers breezed to a 98-72 victory over the
Seattle SuperSonics on Saturday night.
"Elton was out, so I knew I had to play more minutes and play a
little bit more offensively," Kaman said. "But I'd much rather
have Elton in there. I'd appreciate it if he would come back sooner
Brand's bruised right hip, which also kept him out of Tuesday's
90-73 win against Orlando, forced the Clippers to use their seventh
different starting lineup. Kaman helped pick up the slack, shooting
10-for-12 from the field and outscoring Seattle's Rashard Lewis
21-19 in the first half to help Los Angeles take a 50-40 lead.
"I just want to try and give the team a lift every once in a
while," the third-year center said. "The guys were doing a good
job of giving me the ball in good scoring positions."
Rookie James Singleton began the game in Brand's power forward
spot, finishing with eight points and 10 rebounds in 24 minutes.
The Clippers held Seattle to 34 percent shooting, including
2-for-15 from 3-point range. The Sonics, who connected on their
first 11 field goal attempts in Friday's loss to Miami, missed 23
of their first 29 shots against a Clippers squad that came in with
the league's fourth-best field goal percentage defense.
Lewis, who had a 50-point game against the Clippers two seasons
ago, was the only Seattle starter who had more than one field goal
in the first half.
"From a defensive standpoint, we wanted to set the tempo of the
game," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "I thought we did a
pretty good job trying to establish out low post game."
"We had to rely too much on Rashard," Seattle coach Bob Hill
said. "We didn't play well. Our spacing in the offense wasn't
good, and we were a step behind them defensively the whole game."
Cassell capped a 12-2 run with a 12-footer, extending the
Clippers' lead to 70-52 with just under 3 minutes left in the third
quarter. Seattle got no closer than 16 points.
Facing Seattle for the first time since a 101-93 victory on
opening night, Los Angeles built a 39-22 lead with a 16-0 run that
included eight points by Cuttino Mobley. Kaman triggered the rally
with a three-point play and capped it on a dunk with 6:24 left in
the second quarter.
The Clippers won't know for another three weeks whether
Corey Maggette will be done for the season because of a separated
ligament in his left foot, or whether he will be back on the court
in another 6-8 weeks. ... Reggie Evans rejoined his Seattle
teammates after missing two games to attend a funeral in Chicago on
Wednesday, but didn't dress because of an upper respiratory
problem. ... Seattle was outscored in the paint for the sixth
straight time, 46-40. ... The Clippers entered the game leading the
league in rebounding (44.1), free throw percentage (79.9) and
blocks (6.28). ... The Sonics, who came in third in the league with
a 101.5-point average, are 1-17 when scoring fewer than 100. ...
Seattle is 2-5 since Hill replaced Bob Weiss as head coach.