Clippers Hold Off Warriors, 106-105 : Pro basketball: Golden State’s Mullin misses two free throws with six seconds left.

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The Clippers will be in Salt Lake City today, not Las Vegas. But the way they beat the odds Friday night, maybe a stopover side trip would be a good idea.

It happened twice, with the game on the line each time. First Ken Norman, 59.2% from the free-throw line coming in, made two free throws with nine seconds remaining to give the Clippers a 106-105 lead. Then Chris Mullin, 11th best in NBA history in that department, missed two with six seconds remaining to preserve the Clippers’ victory over the Golden State Warriors before 15,025 at Oakland Coliseum Arena.

“We’ve got confidence in Kenny,” teammate Ron Harper said. “Not all the time. But some time.”


Harper laughed. But he wasn’t the first choice to have at the line with the game on the line. His free-throw shooting among Clippers on the court at the time? Fifth.

“It was good to go to the line,” said Norman, who finished with 22 points, including four of four on free throws. “I felt comfortable the whole time. I feel more comfortable shooting on the road than at home.”

But Norman made himself at home. After making the first one, with the crowd making noise in hopes of distracting him, Norman backed off the line and shouted “Shut up!” several times.

That was after the Clippers, winners of three in a row, had blown a 104-96 lead with two minutes to play, having lost the momentum of a 16-3 run earlier in the quarter.

Mullin was probably the last person the Clippers wanted on the line. But both of his free-throw attempts came up short, as did Latrell Sprewell’s off-balance 18-footer with about a second left after he got the offensive rebound.

“I think I shot them too quick,” said Mullin, who finished with 35 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. “That was the game right there. The game was on my shoulders and I didn’t come through.”


The Clippers came in 0-2 against the Warriors, but were at least getting some breaks. They hadn’t faced Billy Owens or Sarunas Marciulionis in either game because of injury and even had Mullin out of their hair for most of the fourth quarter Dec. 16 at the Sports Arena when he was ejected after scoring only 13 points.

Owens is still on the injured list, but Marciulionis went into Friday’s game having averaged 20.4 points and shot 54.6% in his previous nine games. But he he came down with flu and missed the Clippers again.

When Mullin opened one of seven from the field in the first quarter, the Clippers had a 23-21 lead.

The Warriors went ahead by as many as six points during the second quarter, but the Clippers rallied to tie at 50, the last two baskets started by steals by Gary Grant. The Clippers made the score 52-52 at halftime on Harper’s lay-in with 1.4 seconds left.

Clipper Notes

Shortly after recovering from a sprained right arch, John Williams suffered a sprained left knee and left ankle that kept him out of the game and might also sideline him tonight at Utah. The two injuries were the result of the same spill Wednesday against the Jazz at the Sports Arena.