Regular Season Series (Game 4 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 98

(28-53, 10-31 away)

Suns 96

(28-53, 18-23 home)

    7:00 PM ET, April 13, 2004

    US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 27 28 23 2098
    PHX 27 17 26 2696

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: E. Brand 30 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 5 Blk

    Phoenix: A. Stoudemire 29 Pts, 14 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Wilcox scores final five points for victory

    PHOENIX (AP) -- The Los Angeles Clippers can't beat anybody -- except the Phoenix Suns.

    Chris Wilcox's rebound basket at the buzzer snapped the Los Angeles Clippers' 13-game losing streak in a 98-96 victory over the Suns on Tuesday night.

    The last team the Clippers beat was the Suns in Phoenix on March 16.

    "It's important for our guys to play hard and be rewarded for that," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We've been playing without four to five guys every night for the last 15 games."

    Wilcox scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 25 minutes in his second game back from an Achilles' tendon injury.

    "I was out for like four weeks," he said. "For me to come back and have a game like this is a great feeling."

    Wilcox put the Clippers up 96-93 on a tip-in with 16.2 seconds to play.

    Shawn Marion sank his fourth 3-pointer of the fourth quarter with 13.8 seconds left to tie it at 96-96. Quentin Richardson drove the lane but missed, and Wilcox kept the ball alive with several tips inside before getting one to fall.

    "We fought back," the Suns' Amare Stoudemire said, "but Wilcox hit a lucky shot and they got a lucky win."

    Referee Blane Reichelt reviewed the play on videotape before signaling the shot good.

    The Clippers outscored the Suns 54-36 in the paint and 25-14 on second-chance points.

    "Coach told us we had to be physical down low in the post against these guys," Wilcox said, "and that's what we did."

    Elton Brand, apparently headed for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, had 30 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, which blew a 15-point second-half lead before pulling it out.

    Marion scored 14 of his 24 in the fourth quarter. Stoudemire, in a fierce power-forward battle with Brand, had 29 points and 14 rebounds. Leandro Barbosa scored 17, including 14 in the second half.

    The loss, in a game far more intense than would be expected from two teams headed nowhere, dropped the Suns into a tie with the Clippers for last place in the Western Conference with each team having one game to play.

    "Nobody wants to be in last place," Marion said.

    Marion, 4-for-14 through three quarters, made two 3-pointers and scored eight points in a 16-4 Phoenix run to start the fourth quarter. His 3 with 7:47 to play gave the Suns an 82-80 lead. Stoudemire punctuated the outburst with a rebound stuff of Marion's fast-break miss and Phoenix led 86-82 with 5:35 to play.

    Bobby Simmons' 18-footer put the Clippers ahead 94-93 with 53 seconds to play.

    "They kept battling," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said of the Clippers. "They had a lot more second-chance points. They played a little bit tougher than us in the paint, and we gave it up."

    Joe Johnson finished with nine points, ending his string of 42 straight double-figure games. He played 45 minutes, though, his 34th consecutive 40-plus-minute game -- the most since Wilt Chamberlain's 34 straight in 1970.

    The Clippers outscored Phoenix 19-5 over the final seven minutes of the first half to take a 55-44 at the break.

    The run reached 23-5 when the Clippers scored the first four of the second half and led 59-44 on Doug Overton's layup with 11:05 left in the third quarter.

    Barbosa scored 10, including two 3-pointers, in a 13-3 spurt that cut it to 64-59 with 5:22 remaining in the third. With the Suns down 76-70, Antonio McDyess missed two free throws with 27 seconds left in the quarter. Wilcox's stuff made it 78-70 entering the fourth.

    Game notes

    Brand said he missed a call from USA Basketball on Tuesday and hadn't been able to return it. He said he planned to talk team officials on Wednesday and would be honored to be named to the Olympic team. ... Casey Jacobsen won the Suns' Dan Majerle Hustle Award. The award is determined by a vote of fans, Suns players, coaches, employees and Majerle himself. ... The Clippers won the season series 3-1.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 98 96
    FGM-FGA 42-85 (.494) 39-91 (.429)
    3PM-3PA 2-8 (.250) 8-15 (.533)
    FTM-FTA 12-18 (.667) 10-16 (.625)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-53 13-42
    Assists 22 17
    Turnovers 17 8
    Steals 6 12
    Blocks 8 2
    Fast Break Points 2 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 17 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 30
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 5
    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 29
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1