Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/23

Game 1: Friday, December 23rd
Game 2: Monday, February 27th

Clippers 97

(16-10, 6-8 away)

Bobcats 88

(8-19, 5-8 home)

    Coverage: NE14

    7:30 PM ET, December 23, 2005

    Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 28 28 21 2097
    CHA 21 28 17 2288

    Top Performers

    LAC: E. Brand 38 Pts, 20 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Cha: B. Knight 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 7 Ast, 4 Stl

    Brand, Kaman help Clippers dominate injury-depleted Bobcats

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- When Elton Brand saw most of Charlotte's big men in street clothes, he knew he was in for a big night.

    Brand took advantage of the Bobcats' depleted roster with 38 points and 20 rebounds Friday night to help the Los Angeles Clippers pound their way to a 97-88 victory over Charlotte.

    "They were missing some legs and we took it to them, just worked them over inside and out," Brand said. "They were undersized, but we don't feel sorry for anyone."

    Chris Kaman added 22 points and a career-high 22 rebounds for the Clippers, who snapped a five-game road losing streak by dominating the boards and grabbing every loose ball possible. It got to the point where Kaman was fighting Brand -- not the Bobcats -- for rebounds.

    "I was trying to get to 25 but Elton kept taking them all," Kaman said. "Elton started going crazy and blocking shots and taking my rebounds. So I was a little bit upset with him. We're not on good terms."

    Brand and Kaman became the first teammates to go for 30/20 and 20/20 in the same game since Willis Reed and Dave DeBusschere did it in 1970 with the New York Knicks.

    The Bobcats came into the game as winners of three of their last four despite a depleted roster. It caught up to them against the Clippers, when the absence of Emeka Okafor (ankle), Sean May (knee) and center Jake Voskuhl (ankle) left them unable to compete under the basket.

    The Clippers outrebounded Charlotte 57-37 and scored 56 points in the paint. No Bobcat had more than six rebounds.

    "They didn't have a lot of size and they tried to go small on us and make us blink," said Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy. "We tried to stay big and make them blink, and our bigs did a great job."

    Although forward Melvin Ely returned after missing three games with the flu, he was too weak to put up much of a defense on Brand. He played just 19 minutes and finished with eight points and three rebounds.

    "When you get caught with just two bigs, that's a recipe for disaster," Ely said. "We just got caught short-handed."

    Brevin Knight led Charlotte with 21 points and Primoz Brezec had 20. Raymond Felton, starting his fourth game in a two point guard lineup because all the injuries, struggled on 2-of-10 shooting. He had four points.

    Los Angeles had leads of up to 17 points, but saw Charlotte cut it to 91-86 late in the game. But Brand ended any chance of a comeback by completely taking over the game.

    He made a layup with 1:49 to play, then after a Charlotte miss, he got the rebound and was fouled by Bernard Robinson. Brand went to the line and made a pair of free throws, then hit another jumper to make it 97-86.

    Charlotte had a similar rally in the third quarter, cutting it to 66-61, only to see the Clippers come roaring back with an 11-3 run behind rookie Yaroslav Korolev, who dunked to start the run and score his first NBA points.

    "I never thought my first two points would be a dunk," Korolev said, as teammates around him began calling him "The Dunking Russian."

    Korolev also made a 20-foot jumper and added a 3-pointer to finish with seven points -- the only bench points of the entire game for the Clippers.

    Game Notes
    The officials are apparently still getting used to the setup at Charlotte's new arena. Late in the first half, referee Jim Clark yelled into the crowd to a Bobcats' consultant that he couldn't easily locate team fouls on the scoreboard. ... Ely, who spent his rookie season with the Clippers, was scrambling to secure tickets for his family before the game. With at least eight relatives in town for the holiday, Ely was almost begging his teammates for extras. ... Dallas Cowboys receiver Keyshawn Johnson, in town for Saturday's game against the Panthers, sat courtside and received a thundering boo when introduced. NFL sideline reporter Pam Oliver, seated about a dozen seats away, got a much warmer welcome.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 88
    FGM-FGA 37-85 (.435) 30-81 (.370)
    3PM-3PA 1-5 (.200) 4-13 (.308)
    FTM-FTA 22-22 (1.000) 24-34 (.706)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-57 11-37
    Assists 22 20
    Turnovers 18 10
    Steals 6 10
    Blocks 6 5
    Fast Break Points 4 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 18 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 17 5

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 38
    Reb: 20
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3
    Brevin Knight Knight
    Points: 21
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0