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Late 12-0 run puts Clippers ahead to stay

1/22/2004

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Matt Barnes is just happy to be playing in
the NBA, much less making a major impact in just his second game
with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Barnes, who signed a 10-day contract last weekend, made three
key baskets down the stretch Wednesday night to help the Clippers
rally for a 106-102 victory over Golden State.

"I was fortunate to be out there and make things happen," said
Barnes, a former UCLA star who teamed with Dennis Rodman for one
game with Long Beach in the American Basketball Association.

"It's a great experience finally being up in the big leagues,"
the 23-year-old Barnes said. "I'm loving every minute of it. Back
in the ABA, I was getting pretty discouraged. I was playing pretty
well."

Well enough to catch the eye of the Clippers, who needed a
replacement when backup forward Bobby Simmons went down with an
injury last week.

"The reason I picked him was how fundamentally sound he is, how
smart he is," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "I like the fact
that he can pass the ball, make plays."

Barnes, who played the entire fourth quarter, finished with 13
points and 10 rebounds in 26 minutes and helped the Clippers turn
things around on defense, too.

"What a difference a half makes -- 65 points in the first half,
37 points in the second half," Dunleavy said. "We were so soft
that first half."

The Warriors led at halftime 65-54. The 65 points was the most
they've scored in a first half this season, and the Clippers heard
about that from their coach.

"Maybe that's what we needed, that dog to come barking at us,"
said Clippers guard Eddie House, referring to Dunleavy's halftime
lecture.

Quentin Richardson led the Clippers with 25 points; Corey
Maggette had 22 points and eight rebounds, and Elton Brand added 16
points and 13 rebounds.

The Clippers (17-22) snapped a three-game losing streak with
just their third win in nine games.

Jason Richardson led the Warriors (17-24) with 28 points and 10
rebounds. Erick Dampier had 17 points and 16 rebounds and Speedy
Claxton also scored 17 for Golden State, which has lost 11 straight
road games.

"Matt Barnes came in and gave them a lot of energy," Warriors
coach Eric Musselman said. "He changed the whole complexion of the
game."

The Clippers went ahead for good by scoring 12 straight points
for a 100-95 lead with 2:01 to play. Barnes' follow shot capped the
spurt.

Doug Overton's jumper with 8.4 seconds remaining and the shot
clock running down gave the Clippers a five-point lead. Golden
State's Clifford Robinson made a 3-pointer before Maggette clinched
the victory by making two free throws with 3.9 seconds left.

The Warriors scored five straight points for a 95-88 lead with
5:25 remaining.

That's when the Clippers took over.

Two free throws by Maggette, a basket by Barnes and a 3-pointer
by Eddie House tied the game at 95, and Barnes then followed in his
own miss with 3:10 left to give the Clippers just their third lead
of the game.

A free throw by Quentin Richardson and another follow shot by
Barnes put the Clippers up by five points before Jason Richardson's
jumper with 1:46 left ended the decisive spurt.

The game was the second matching first-year Clippers coach
Dunleavy against his son, Mike, a second-year forward with the
Warriors.

The younger Dunleavy had 16 points and 10 rebounds. In the
Clippers' 104-98 win at Golden State on Nov. 14, Dunleavy shot
2-of-10 and scored seven points.

"We've got two more games against him. We'll get him next
time," the younger Dunleavy said. "We're beating them by a lot in
the first half and you hear the boos. I was like, `Whoa.'

"Man, I felt bad for the opposing coach for the first time
ever."

The Warriors led by as many as 14 points in both the first and
third quarters.

Game notes
Dampier has 21 double-doubles this season. ... The Clippers
entertain Utah on Friday night before playing 10 of their following
11 games on the road leading up to the All-Star break. ...
Considering the schedule, Dunleavy realizes how difficult it will
be for the Clippers to contend for the playoffs. "We're behind the
eight-ball," he said. "If we can get a run to the playoffs, that
would be great. It is what it is. The Western Conference is a
monster." ... The Dunleavys had dinner Tuesday night and lunch
Wednesday. "I love the way he plays. He knows how to play," the
elder Dunleavy said.