7:30 PM ET, March 3, 2007
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers made a defensive stand against the Indiana Pacers that established a franchise record for fewest points allowed in a game. Even coach Mike Dunleavy made an unexpected defensive stop -- against his own son.
Corey Maggette scored 20 points and Elton Brand added 17 points and 12 rebounds in an 87-64 rout of the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night. But the injury-riddled Clippers didn't need much offense against a team that shot 35.7 percent from the field.
"This is a great record for us, especially at this time," Brand said. "Some of the guys that log a lot of minutes got some rest tonight. And when we can put that type of defense and intensity together for a full game, we are going to be hard to beat."
Jamaal Tinsley had 16 points for Indiana, which lost for the fifth straight time since beating Milwaukee in double overtime on Feb. 21. It was the lowest-scoring game this season for the Pacers, who missed their first 12 shots in the fourth quarter and 15 straight altogether during a field goal drought.
"We were fortunate enough to catch that team on a back-to-back night, and the schedule is what it is. But I won't take anything away from what our guys did accomplish," Dunleavy said. "We did a great job all the way around. Our guys came in and played hard, our coverages were good, and the double-teams and the rotations were excellent. It was good for our guys to see themselves control a game defensively again."
Jermaine O'Neal helped set the ominous tone by missing his first four attempts, and finished with just nine points during a foul-plagued 30 minutes. The Pacers' offensive futility was underlined by Troy Murphy's airball on a wide-open 3-point shot from the top of the key with 4:14 left in the third quarter.
"We just couldn't get the job done," said O'Neal, who played three seasons for Dunleavy with the Portland Trail Blazers. "When you point the finger, you have to point it at everyone. That is something we have to get going pretty fast if we want to get to the playoffs."
O'Neal wasn't the only one who had a reunion with Dunleavy. So did shooting guard Mike Dunleavy Jr., who had an impromptu bonding session with his father during the final minute of the first quarter. He was chasing down a loose ball that was heading toward the sideline and slammed right into the Clippers' coach, who was on his feet yelling instructions to his players.
Dunleavy Sr. was dragged about 6 feet by his son after they collided -- then flashed a wide grin as Mike Jr. kept his right arm tightly wrapped around his waist to prevent him from falling.
"I told him that was the last time I'm going to try and catch him," Dunleavy Sr. said with a laugh. "I saw the ball coming and then I saw him coming, so I was trying to put a fake on him like I was going to get the ball so he wouldn't get it. But I didn't get out of the way in time. I saw him lower his head like he was coming for me, so I was ready for it. He tried to bury me. It was a free shot, but he's a little light."
The Clippers used their 19th different starting lineup, with Daniel Ewing at point guard for the second straight game because of Sam Cassell's groin strain. They extended a 13-point halftime lead to 19 on Maggette's 16-footer with 8 minutes left in the third quarter, then blew the game open with a 13-0 blitz in the first 4:34 of the fourth.
Chris Kaman ignited the run with seven straight points and finished with 16.
"We haven't been playing extremely well as of late on defense," Kaman said, "so we just wanted to come out and play hard with a lot of energy. We got some deflections and some steals."
The Pacers, who came in averaging a league-leading 13.0 offensive rebounds, had just seven against the Clippers. And on a night like this, they needed a lot more.
"We've been asking our guys to dig down and be efficient," Dunleavy Sr. said. "We talked before the game about how that team was the number one offensive rebounding team in the league, and that if we didn't control the glass, we were going to be in for a long night. They're also a big-time steals team and they pressure you, so we had to take care of the basketball and be efficient with our ball movement against them."
This was the 14th time that the Dunleavys have faced each other in the NBA, and the second time since Mike Jr. was traded from Golden State to Indiana on Jan. 17. ... The Clippers scored 32 points in the paint. On Feb. 11 at Indiana, they had 20 in a 94-80 loss -- the fewest the Pacers have given up in the paint this season. ... O'Neal, who became the Pacers' all-time leading shot blocker on Feb. 11 against the Clippers, extended his streak to 54 consecutive games with at least one blocked shot. He leads the NBA this season with 158. ... The loss dropped the Pacers back to the .500 mark for the first time since Jan. 21. They haven't been under .500 since Dec. 12.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||25-70 (.357)||31-70 (.443)|
|3PM-3PA||4-17 (.235)||2-4 (.500)|
|FTM-FTA||10-19 (.526)||23-32 (.719)|
|Fast Break Points||4||2|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (1/0)||26 (0/0)|