Elton Brand scored 27 points, Bobby Simmons added 20 and the
Clippers barely held on to beat the Pacers 88-76 on Wednesday night
for their fifth straight victory.
The Clippers have won five in a row for the first time since
November 1995. The last time they won six straight was March 1992.
The franchise record is 11, set in January 1974, when they were the
"Each game is a confidence builder," Corey Maggette said.
"Right now, we want to go out there and play hard for ourselves
and for our coach. We want to make him proud and make ourselves
Coming off the second-best November in franchise history (9-6),
the Clippers spent most of the game playing down to the level of an
opponent that dressed only eight players. One was forward Marcus
Haislip, who signed with them earlier in the day and scored eight
points in 25 minutes on 3-for-10 shooting.
"I was familiar with probably about three or four of those
guys, but I wouldn't say we were taking them lightly. They were
playing well," Simmons said. "Indiana only had eight players, but
they were keeping the game close. Rick Carlisle's done a great job
with those guys."
Maggette had 17 points and nine rebounds for Los Angeles after
missing two games because of a strained tendon in his left ankle.
But Kerry Kittles missed his fifth straight game with a bruised
right knee after playing 24 minutes in his season debut.
Eddie Gill scored 21 points for Indiana. The Eastern
Conference-leading Pacers slipped to 10-5, one day after a Detroit
newspaper reported that misdemeanor assault and battery charges
would be filed against Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen
Jackson for their participation in the Nov. 19 brawl with Detroit
In addition to the absence of their top three scorers because of
lengthy suspensions and three others on the injured list, the
Pacers also played without Austin Croshere (bruised right rib),
Scot Pollard (back) and Jamaal Tinsley (bruised left thigh).
"We are making some things up as we go along here, since our
personnel has changed pretty drastically," Carlisle said. "We
have a couple of guys who we literally picked up off the street. We
have some challenges, but we'll get it together and keep
At one point, Indiana was down to seven players. Center David
Harrison strained his right ankle and spent the next 6:21 on the
bench before returning with 8:23 left in the first half.
"I respect them a lot," Maggette said. "Most teams that play
them think they're supposed to win, but they snuck up on Boston and
Minnesota and beat them. You have to give them a lot of credit for
playing this well with the players they've got. They just need to
keep their spirits up right now."
Brand scored eight points during a 17-5 run, including a short
jumper that capped the rally as the Clippers turned a one-point
deficit into a 57-46 lead with 6:16 left in the third quarter.
The Pacers got as close as 72-67 on Fred Jones' 3-pointer with
4:03 to play, but Brand responded with a 15-footer and Marko Jaric
drained a 3-pointer 37 seconds later to restore the Clippers'
double-digit margin and trigger a 12-3 run that put it away.
The Clippers' victory was only their fourth over Indiana in the
last 23 meetings, and second in a row. They won 102-68 win on Oct.
10 at Conseco Fieldhouse, the same night Artest completed the
two-game benching he got from Carlisle for requesting time off
because of a busy schedule that included promoting a soon-to-be
released rap album.
"You see a team that you beat by 30-someodd points with
Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson, and now you see a bunch of
guys you don't know," Brand said. "You get full of yourself after
winning four in a row, and we took them a little bit too lightly.
We didn't bring the intensity at all, but they ran out of gas and
we kept going."
The Clippers have had eight four-game winning streaks since
their previous five-game streak. ... Since the brawl, the Pacers
and Pistons are both 3-3. ... The Clippers have won all 10 games in
which they've allowed fewer than 100 points. ... Reggie Miller, out
with an injured left hand, could be activated by the weekend. ...
The Clippers beat the Pacers twice in the same season for the first
time since 1991-92.