Mobley's 24 points seal Clippers' victory over Grizzlies

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Cuttino Mobley established a presence right from the start with his hot shooting, and the Los Angeles Clippers continued to be a completely different team at home than they are on the road.

Mobley connected on his first nine shots, added a buzzer-beating 3-pointer off a steal to end the second quarter and finished with 24 points to lead the Clippers to a 105-90 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

"Cuttino Mobley got hot, so we kept feeding him," Elton Brand said. "We were executing our offense well. Guys shared the ball and set good picks. That's why those open looks were there for him."

One night after shooting an NBA season-worst 30.6 percent from the field and missing 17 of their final 18 shots in a 93-80 loss at Sacramento that dropped their road record to 0-6, the Clippers were back in their comfort zone before a receptive Staples Center crowd of 15,829 and improved to 7-1 on their home court.

"We're 7-1 at home, and we still feel we gave one away against Seattle here. So we feel like we should be undefeated at home," Brand said.

The Clippers scored 20 consecutive points during a 4:52 span in the first half to snap a five-game losing streak and beat Memphis for only the third time in the last 14 meetings. Brand, who tied a career high with 44 points against the Grizzlies last Feb. 10 in a 91-87 victory, finished with 20 points and nine rebounds.

Hakim Warrick scored 22 points for the Grizzlies (4-11), who are tied with Charlotte for the NBA's worst record after finishing with the fourth-best mark in the Western Conference last season.

Point guard Damon Stoudamire sat out his second straight game because of soreness in his surgically repaired right knee. And with Eddie Jones still sidelined with Achilles' tendinitis, Mobley had free rein to do his thing.

"Nobody played him. Eddie normally does that for us," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "Eddie can really defend people, and we miss that right now."

The Clippers systematically dismantled the Grizzlies with a 30-4 run, turning a five-point deficit into a 41-20 lead with 9:23 left in the second quarter.

"We were just moving the ball well and making our shots," Corey Maggette said. "The past couple of games we weren't. But tonight, we were doing a lot of good things that put us in a great position. When we're playing good hard D and making your shots, we're a tough team to beat."

Memphis missed seven consecutive shots during a 6:12 stretch, and Mobley capped the Clippers' remarkable surge with a layup and a 3-pointer. He finished 11-for-17 from the field, although he failed to get to the free throw line for the fourth time in 14 games this season.

"Mike's put a lot of pressure on the vets about getting off to great starts, so tonight I put some pressure on myself to get to the basket and create shots -- not just for myself but for everybody else," Mobley of coach Mike Dunleavy.

"Last night I wasn't as aggressive in the fourth quarter as I should have been and I missed three layups," Mobley added. "So I said to myself, `Just come out tonight and shoot the ball. Just go out and do what you've been doing since you came into the league.' And it went well for me."

The Grizzlies, who trailed by as many as 22 points, refused to allow themselves to get blown out. They rallied with a 12-3 spurt run, narrowing the gap to 46-34 on Chucky Atkins' layup off a turnover by Mobley. Mobley temporarily took some of the steam out of the visitors when he intercepted a pass by Rudy Gay near midcourt with the clock winding down in the half and drained one of his two 3-point baskets from 31 feet for a 64-49 lead.

Memphis got as close as eight points in the final minute of the third quarter with a 17-3 run, capped by Dahntay Jones' layup. But the Clippers restored their double-digit lead and maintained it over the final 4:21, as Tim Thomas hit a layup and a 3-pointer to keep Memphis at bay.

Game notes
Dunleavy is getting tired of answering questions about his contract negotiations. It was reported a tad prematurely in some local papers last week that he and the club had agreed to a four-year, $20 million extension. "I've had some positive discussions with the team, but I don't have a signed deal and I don't have a deal in place," Dunleavy said. "There's no timetable, but I definitely don't want this thing to drag out and I don't want this to be a distraction. I don't want the players thinking about me." ... The Clippers never lost more than five in a row last season en route to a 47-35 record, which was the second-best in franchise history behind the 1974-75 Buffalo Braves (49-33).

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