Clippers Badly Stung by Hornets' Reserves : Pro basketball: Charlotte bench's 46-18 scoring edge and early deficit too much for Los Angeles in 121-109 loss.

From Associated Press

The Clippers experienced Charlotte's newfound depth Saturday night and, as a result of that and an early deficit, suffered a 121-109 loss to the surging Hornets.

The Clippers, who came in with six victories in nine games, couldn't handle the Hornets' reserves--who held a 46-18 scoring edge. Charlotte also set a franchise record with eight double-figure scorers, led by Alonzo Mourning's 26 points.

"Our second unit was the key," Charlotte Coach Allan Bristow said of his team, which has won eight of 11 games. "They put the clamps on defensively. We're a deep team now. If the results aren't good with one five, we'll change it around."

Dominique Wilkins led the Clippers with 28 points, 18 coming in the second half. Elmore Spencer added 23 points and Ron Harper 20 for the Clippers.

"We started out slowly in the first half," Wilkins said. "We then began to pick our game up late in the first half. As a whole, we played well."

"Charlotte played really well," Clipper Coach Bob Weiss said. "We were a little flat. We tried to catch up at the end, but we just couldn't do it. Charlotte shot the ball well."

Los Angeles, after trailing by 14 earlier, lagged by only 90-83 with 9:49 left, but Charlotte answered with an 11-2 run for a 101-85 lead with 6:34 remaining.

The Clippers could get no closer than eight after that as the Hornets shot 79% from the field in the quarter.

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