Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/13

Game 1: Saturday, December 13th
Game 2: Monday, December 29th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 16th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 13th

Clippers 110

(27-40, 9-25 away)

Suns 98

(22-46, 14-20 home)

    7:00 PM ET, March 16, 2004

    US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 24 37 26 23110
    PHX 28 26 18 2698

    Top Performers

    LAC: Q. Richardson 32 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Stl

    PHX: A. Stoudemire 28 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk

    Richardson scores 32 for second straight game

    PHOENIX (AP) -- The Los Angeles Clippers' big three of Quetin Richardson, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette got the best of Phoenix's top trio of Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion and Joe Johnson, and it paid off in a rare road victory.

    Richardson had 32 points for the second consecutive game and 12 rebounds, Brand scored 27 points and Maggette had 23, as the Clippers snapped a four-game losing streak and a six-game road skid, beating the Suns 110-98 Tuesday night.

    "They paid a lot of attention to Elton and that opened it up for everybody," Richardson said. "We played good defense and when we do that, we have a chance.

    "A road win is definitely a good one."

    Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy thought one of the big differences in the game was second-chance points.

    "In the first half, they (the Suns) had 15 second-chance points," he said. "In the second half, they had four. That's huge."

    In winning for only the third time in 13 games, the Clippers handed the Suns their 20th loss in the last 26 games, including the fourth straight at home.

    The Suns, who played their fourth game in five nights, have to go 7-0 in their final seven games at America West Arena to avoid the first losing record at home since their inaugural season in 1968-69.

    The 82 points by Richardson, Brand and Maggette were 17 more than the Suns' top scorers.

    Stoudemire topped the Suns with 28 points, the 15th time in the last 16 games he has reached the 20-point mark. Marion added 19 points and Johnson had 18.

    The Clippers built a 61-54 halftime lead, as the three big scorers from each team were in double figures.

    Maggette shot 7-of-9 and had 19 points. Richardson scored 17, and Brand, coming off his lowest-scoring game of the season -- five points against Dallas on Sunday -- had 12. Marion and Stoudemire each scored 16 and Johnson had 13, accounting for all but nine of the Suns' points.

    "In the first quarter, Amare, Johnson and Marion got off," Brand said. "In the second, we took off. And our big three took it to them in the second half.

    "The problem we've had has been getting a lead and keeping it. This time, we kept it."

    Phoenix led 28-24 after one period -- its first lead after the opening quarter since Feb. 27 -- committing only one turnover, but the Suns got sloppy in the second quarter, making eight turnovers, and the Clippers capitalized, outscoring them 37-26.

    Los Angeles extended its lead to 87-72 after the third period by scoring the final seven points of the quarter and continuing to outrebound and outhustle the tired Suns.

    "Their big three are real good once they get going, and they're hard to stop," Stoudemire said. "They are tough under the boards and on the glass."

    Los Angeles' three key players outrebounded their Phoenix counterparts 29-24.

    Phoenix coach lamented his team's lack of energy from its demanding schedule.

    "We didn't quite have energy," he said, "and we don't have the experience and the basketball savvy to play under control. I just don't think they had a lot of gas left in them."

    Game notes

    Los Angeles center-forward Chris Wilcox missed the game with a strained left Achilles tendon. ... Suns center Jake Voskuhl has plantar fasciitis of the left foot and missed his first game due to injury this season (he was out one other game to attend the birth of his daughter). ... Diamondbacks closer Matt Mantei was in attendance. ... This was the first meeting between the teams at America West Arena since Feb. 11, 2003. ...

    ... The Suns will induct Charles Barkley into their Ring of Honor during halftime ceremonies at Saturday night's game against Milwaukee.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 110 98
    FGM-FGA 37-82 (.451) 39-83 (.470)
    3PM-3PA 6-15 (.400) 1-6 (.167)
    FTM-FTA 30-38 (.789) 19-27 (.704)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-49 12-43
    Assists 21 11
    Turnovers 14 13
    Steals 7 9
    Blocks 6 4
    Fast Break Points 5 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 24 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Quentin Richardson Richardson
    Points: 32
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 28
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1