Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/5

Game 1: Friday, November 5th
Trail Blazers94
Game 2: Wednesday, January 5th
Trail Blazers98Final
Game 3: Friday, January 28th
Trail Blazers90
Game 4: Monday, March 21st
Trail Blazers89Final

Clippers 86

(20-23, 5-13 away)

Trail Blazers 90

(17-25, 10-9 home)

    7:00 PM ET, January 28, 2005

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 22 26 18 2086
    POR 17 23 23 2790

    Top Performers

    LAC: E. Brand 26 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Por: D. Stoudamire 22 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    Clippers drop sixth straight

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Portland Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks was hurt and frustrated after his confrontation with Darius Miles.

    His team wanted to win the game for him.

    The Blazers did, shrugging off the drama behind Miles' suspension to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 90-86 on Friday night.

    Miles was suspended by the team for two games Friday after an argument with Cheeks earlier the day before. Team officials would not comment on the nature of the confrontation, except to say that there was one.

    According to The Oregonian newspaper, Miles repeatedly called Cheeks a racial epithet and shouted that he didn't care if the Blazers lost 20 games in a row.

    Many of the Blazers said they felt they needed to rally around Cheeks, who was outwardly shaken up by the incident.

    "Coach is a great guy and he hates when it comes to something like this with the players, because he's all for the players," said Theo Ratliff.

    Damon Stoudamire had 18 of his 22 points in the second half for the Blazers, who trailed much of the game, and were down by 12 in the third quarter.

    "They had to dig down and find something inside them to win that game," said Cheeks, who also admitted, "I wanted that one more than normal."

    Elton Brand had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost six straight and nine of 10 on the road. The Clippers haven't won in Portland since 1999.

    "Disappointing loss for us," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "I thought we did a lot of good things, but we missed a ton of open shots."

    The Blazers, who had lost 13 of their last 16, got great defensive performances from big men Joel Przybilla and Ratliff. Przybilla had 10 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, and Ratliff had seven blocks.

    The Blazers made just eight of their first 29 shots, and trailed 48-40 at halftime.

    The game turned when Stoudamire, 2-of-9 shooting in the first half, got hot in the third quarter, finding his jumper and scoring nine points.

    The Blazers fought back to 66-63 and then Stoudamire hit a 21-footer early in the fourth and Portland took a 70-69 lead.

    Two Ruben Patterson layups made it 85-77, before Stoudamire hit four free throws in the final 13 seconds to put the game away.

    Miles, who signed a six-year, $48 million contract with the Blazers in the offseason, will also sit out Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center.

    In a statement released by the Blazers, Miles said: "I would like to apologize to all of our Trail Blazer fans for not being a part of the team these next two games. Things were said in frustration and I am sorry for that."

    He did not apologize to Cheeks in the statement. General manager John Nash would not comment on that, but said, "Darius will be welcomed back to the team at the conclusion of the suspension."

    Bobby Simmons scored 16 points for the Clippers despite 3-of-14 shooting in the second half. Rookie Quinton Ross had 10.

    Game notes

    The Clippers activated C Chris Wilcox from the injured list before the game, but he did not play.... Blazer G Derek Anderson, who has been sitting out with tooth problems, has had three root canals this week. ... A fan held a sign that read: "Free Darius."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 86 90
    FGM-FGA 34-80 (.425) 38-88 (.432)
    3PM-3PA 1-4 (.250) 4-15 (.267)
    FTM-FTA 17-22 (.773) 10-13 (.769)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-40 19-49
    Assists 23 21
    Turnovers 11 16
    Steals 10 6
    Blocks 7 11
    Fast Break Points 10 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 12 8

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 26
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3
    Damon Stoudamire Stoudamire
    Points: 22
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0