New Clippers coach Kim Hughes pleased with team workout heading into tough game


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The Clippers practiced for the first time under new coach Kim Hughes on Friday, and the workout was a spirited one, Hughes said.

‘It was good,’ he said. ‘There was a lot of enthusiasm out there. A lot of energy and the guys did compete.’

Hughes, a longtime Clippers assistant, was named the team’s interim head coach Thursday, replacing Mike Dunleavy, who unexpectedly stepped aside to concentrate on his duties as the team’s general manager.


Hughes’ promotion comes at the end of a dismal road trip in which the Clippers lost four of six games to fall to 21-28 overall.

And his job gets a lot tougher Saturday night when the Clippers return home to Staples Center for the first time in 16 days to play host to the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs have traditionally presented a challenge for the Clippers, who have lost 14 straight to San Antonio.

Hughes, a center in both the NBA and ABA, also worked in the NBA as a scout and director of player personnel. He was in his seventh season as an assistant coach with the Clippers, all under Dunleavy.

Dunleavy, who’s final road trip as the Clippers’ head coach featured back-to-back losses to the New Jersey Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves, the NBA’s two worst teams, won a franchise-best 215 games since joining the team in 2003. But he also lost 325 games, reaching the playoffs just once.

-- Kevin Baxter