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Clippers fall for sixth straight time

1/6/2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- With Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Malik Rose
and Steve Smith around, Tony Parker doesn't need to score for the
San Antonio Spurs.

But once in a while, the NBA's youngest starting point guard
gets his own ideas.

"I concentrate on playing good defense and I'm always looking
for the open man. We have scorers, but sometimes it falls in my
head and I feel confident I can score too,'' said Parker, who had
26 points and made 11 of 13 free throws as the Spurs beat the Los
Angeles Clippers 94-86 Sunday.

"He was really special,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of
the 20-year-old Parker. "He gets us into situations we want to be
in. He tells people where they should go if they're in the wrong
spot.''

Duncan had 24 points and 14 rebounds for his 25th double-double
of the season and Popovich earned his 300th victory with the Spurs,
the only team he's ever coached in the NBA. Already the team's
career leader in victories, Popovich is 300-176 in seven seasons.

Bruce Bowen scored all of his 13 points in the second half for
the Spurs, who committed 16 turnovers.

The Clippers lost their sixth straight and eighth in nine games
to remain at the bottom of the Pacific Division.

"We're really trying to get better, but things aren't happening
for us,'' said Corey Maggette who had 19 points, including all
eight of his free throws. "We're a very talented team and we're
not getting it done. It's our fault. We're not hitting the shots.''

Lamar Odom had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers.

"Sometimes losing is contagious. We can't fall into that. We
got to take practice very seriously and look in the mirror and hold
ourselves accountable,'' guard Keyon Dooling said. "We were right
there and we just couldn't make that run we needed to get over the
hump.''

Elton Brand had 15 points and 16 rebounds, Michael Olowokandi
had 12 points after sitting out Friday's loss to Memphis with a
sore left knee and Andre Miller scored 12 points for the Clippers,
who were booed when they missed their first five shots of the game.

"Right now we're not giving a good effort and we're not
winning,'' Miller said, citing the team's 7-12 record at Staples
Center. "Teams are coming and beating us like it's their home
court.''

Once again, the Clippers were done in by poor shooting (33
percent) despite frequently taking high-percentage shots. They went
three minutes without a basket in the fourth quarter, when the
Spurs were barely pressed in maintaining a nine-point lead.

"It's very simple. We can't win the game shooting 33 percent,''
Clippers coach Alvin Gentry said. "It's not the turnovers, it's
not the rebounds, it's not any of that. We're getting good shots
and we can't get them in the basket.''

Odom's driving layup put the Clippers within three on their
first basket of the fourth. Minutes later, Bowen sandwiched baskets
around a hook shot by Robinson and the Spurs led 75-66 with 7:09
remaining.

Parker hit two free throws for a 79-70 lead, the Spurs' largest
of the quarter. After the Clippers scored two straight baskets,
Parker made a 3-pointer for an 82-74 lead.

Twice the Clippers got within five points in the final two
minutes, but San Antonio answered with baskets each time.

"Our shots didn't fall. It was a dismal shooting performance,''
Olowokandi said. "It's important we turn it around right now.
Every game we go into is a must-win.''

Neither team led by more than seven points in the third quarter,
when the Spurs tied it three times early. Bowen hit two straight
3-pointers to give San Antonio a 54-47 lead with 5:23 remaining.
Maggette had nine points in a seven-minute span of the third, when
Los Angeles trailed 67-62 going into the fourth.

The Spurs led by eight early in the second quarter before the
Clippers rallied to tie and briefly take the lead. Dooling scored
to start an 18-12 run, including five points in a row by Miller,
whose final jumper gave the Clippers a 35-33 lead. Parker scored
six in a row to put San Antonio back in front 37-36 at halftime.

Game notes
Olowokandi said his knee felt the same, but he's pursuing
more aggressive treatment because he can't follow doctors' advice
and take a month off to rest. ... Clippers G Quentin Richardson
didn't dress because he sprained his left ankle Friday night
against Memphis. ... The Spurs lead the season series 2-1. ... The
Clippers fell to 4-3 in day games this season. ... Starting with
the Spurs, the Clippers play nine of their next 10 games against
teams that made the playoffs last season.