Elton Brand scored 30 points, Cassell added 27, and the Clippers
moved 11 games over .500 for the first time in team history with a
115-113 overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
"We're just the same old Clippers. That's all we are. We're
just the same old Clippers," Cassell said. "We want teams to
continue to take us lightly."
After 12 consecutive losing seasons, the Clippers won for the
eighth time in nine games and improved to 12-10 on the road. They
have already surpassed their total of 10 road wins in each of the
last two seasons.
The franchise -- known for being one of the worst in sports --
hasn't been 11 games over the break-even mark since the Buffalo
Braves were 30-19 on Jan. 28, 1976.
"It means a lot," Brand said. "Every step we take, first time
we're 5-0, first time we're 10 games above .500, first time we have
a winning January. Everything we do we take pride in."
Cassell sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer and scored
six points in the extra period.
"Sam was terrific. He made big shots again," Los Angeles coach
Mike Dunleavy said. "It's an unbelievable knack that he has."
Chris Bosh had 29 points, 16 rebounds and six assists, but he
missed three jumpers in the final minute of overtime, including a
potential tying one from the top of key as time expired.
"I won't let that spook me too much. I know I can make that,"
Bosh said. "I can shoot high percentage from there."
Toronto's Mike James ran into a screen, allowing Cassell to tie
it with a wide open 3-pointer with 7.8 seconds left in regulation.
"I couldn't believe I was that wide open," Cassell said.
James claimed he was grabbed by Brand. TV replays showed he just
ran into a screen.
"Elton Brand grabbed me and hugged and basically just wouldn't
let me go until Sam Cassell got the ball," James said. "I thought
that maybe somebody might see the play but nobody saw it."
James missed a driving layup at the buzzer.
Morris Peterson's 3-pointer gave Toronto a 110-107 lead with
2:25 left, but Quintin Ross converted a three-point play with 1:54
After Bosh missed a jumper, Chris Kaman gave Los Angeles the
lead for good with a hook shot with 37 seconds left.
Cassell followed with two free throws, but Bosh cut the lead to
one by converting a three-point play with 13 seconds left.
Brand missed one of two free throws with 10 seconds left, giving
the Toronto the chance to tie, but Bosh's jumper from the top of
the key hit off the rim.
James castigated himself in the first half by saying
"'Come on Mike James! Get your mind right!" He was 2-for-8 from
the field at the time. He finished 5-for-20 and had 20 points. ...
Peterson had 25 points. ... Raptors interim general manager Wayne
Embry said Antonio Davis won't be bought out of his contract.
Toronto acquired Davis from New York on Friday. Davis is expected
to report Monday or Tuesday. ... The Clippers are 3-1 on their
six-game road trip.