PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Zach Randolph learned that even Portland's
fastest rising star can't miss practice.
Randolph was held out of the Trail Blazers' starting lineup for
the first time this season because he didn't make it to the Rose
Garden in time for Wednesday's shootaround.
Randolph accepted the punishment, then came off the bench and
had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the Blazers' 101-86 rout of the
Los Angeles Clippers.
"It's a job. I came late," Randolph said, adding that he
didn't blame coach Maurice Cheeks for the sanction. "You gotta do
what you gotta do.
"But I won't be late anymore."
The Clippers have lost five straight, all on the road. The stop
in Portland wrapped up their season-high nine-game road trip.
After trailing for much of the first half, the Blazers pulled
away in the third quarter to lead by as many as 13 points. The
Clippers closed to 73-68 on Elton Brand's layup and free throw, but
Anderson came back with a 3-pointer and followed it up with his own
layup off a pass from Omar Cook to push the lead back to 10.
"Today's one of those days when you're feeling good and you've
got to let it go," said Anderson, who made six 3-pointers.
It was Randolph's 30th double-double of the season. The
third-year forward is averaging 20.7 points and 10.8 rebounds a
Brand had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, and Corey
Maggette had 23 points and seven rebounds.
"We're soft. That's all I can say. I'm very disappointed,"
Quentin Richardson said. "I don't like losing. Ever. Especially
Maggette and Richardson both made their returns to Los Angeles'
starting lineup after missing last Wednesday's 110-102 loss to
Memphis because of injuries.
Maggette was out with a bilateral hip bruise, and Richardson had
a right thigh bruise.
The Clippers led 24-14 at the end of the first quarter after
Elton Brand's layup and a pair of free throws by Eddie House.
The Blazers closed the gap with a 12-2 run midway through the
second and took a 35-34 lead on Anderson's 3-pointer. The Clippers
went ahead again on Richardson's layup and subsequent 3-pointer.
But Portland closed out the half with a 13-2 run, scoring the
final eight points to take a 48-41 lead. Randolph finished the half
with 10 points and six rebounds despite the benching.
Randolph didn't make an appearance until he took over for
Abdur-Rahim with 3:02 left in the first quarter. But he still wound
up with 31 minutes.
The shootaround was scheduled for 4:45 p.m. at the Rose Garden.
Randolph said he at first wasn't sure of the time, then got stuck
"This is our job. So if it's at 4:45 -- or whenever -- it's your
job to get there," Cheeks said.
The Blazers have won their last 11 games at the Rose Garden
against the Clippers.
^Notes:@ The Clippers have not won in Portland since April 11,
1999. ... Blazers center Vladamir Stepania did not dress because of
the flu. ... Portland second-year forward Qyntel Woods was fined
before the game for conduct detrimental to the team. The Blazers
would only say Woods was a passenger in a car that was pulled over
in California and the driver was charged with driving under the
influence. Woods was not taken into custody or charged.
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