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Don Ford

Lakers hope lottery balls bounce their way

Lakers hope lottery balls bounce their way

Stroll through the Clippers' sleek practice facility, and there it is, proudly displayed in a hallway near the practice court, the digits that helped turn around their franchise: 5-3-6-10. They are black numbers on four white ping-pong balls drawn from the 2009 NBA draft lottery that gave the Clippers the No. 1 pick that year and, ultimately, Blake Griffin. No strangers to past lotteries, the Clippers are on to better things these days, although 14 teams, including the Lakers, will be tucked into a pair of large rooms in a New York hotel Tuesday to determine the official draft order in June. Once upon a time, draft position was based solely on a team's regular-season record...

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