Clippers Receive the Worst of Rice’s Best : Pro basketball: Heat guard who was once almost a Clipper scores 45 in 120-98 rout.


Guard Glen Rice of the Miami Heat played the worst game of his NBA career in Thursday night’s loss at Seattle, missing nine of 10 shots and scoring only seven points.

But Rice played one of the best games of his six-year career against the Clippers, scoring a season-high 45 points, one point shy of his franchise scoring record, as the Heat ended a five-game losing streak with a 120-98 victory Friday night before an announced crowd of 8,269 at the Sports Arena.

Rice, who scored 35 points in an 11-point victory over the Clippers last December at Miami, made a season-high 17 of 26 shots, including three three-point baskets. He also had seven assists.


“I had a good chance (to break the record), but I was more worried about getting 10 assists,” Rice said. “I’ve got to get 10 assists before my career is over with. I’ll get the 50 (points), I’m not worried about that.

“Last night I shot the ball terribly. One of the things I wanted to do tonight was to really concentrate on my shot and things pretty much went my way.”

Rice was nearly traded to the Clippers last season along with former Miami forward Willie Burton for Danny Manning. But the deal fell through after Clipper owner Donald T. Sterling reportedly vetoed it.

“It was close, man,” Rice said. “From my end I was hearing that (Manning) is basically on the airplane. It was a touchy moment for me, but I learned a lot from that. I just figure there’s always going to be trade rumors.”

The Clippers had a hard time defending Rice.

“When he’s hot like he was tonight it’s almost impossible to stop him,” said Clipper forward Loy Vaught, who played with Rice on Michigan’s 1989 NCAA championship team.

Forward Billy Owens had 29 points, one shy of his career high, and 10 rebounds, and John Salley added 18 points.


Owens had a chance to help Rice break the franchise scoring record of 46 points that Rice set against Orlando on April 11, 1992, but he dunked instead of passing to Rice with 52 seconds left.

“I’m not out there worrying about things like that,” Owens said. “My record’s 30; I was trying to get over 30. Glen was on fire the whole game. When Glen is shooting the ball like that, you’ve got to get him the ball.”’

Although the game was already decided, Heat Coach Alvin Gentry kept Rice in it.

Rice, who began the game averaging 20.9 points, scored 25 in the first half, including 15 in the second quarter, as Miami took a 59-51 halftime lead.

Clipper Notes

Former Clipper center John Williams, waived by the club last summer, was awarded $488,000 by an arbitrator, who ruled that the Clippers were obligated to pay Williams after waiving him. Williams had a clause in his contract that entitled him to $600,000, or 50% of the $1.2 million he was scheduled to earn this season, if the Clippers didn’t renew his option. However, the Clippers argued that Williams, who spent the first half of last season at a weight-loss clinic, wasn’t entitled to the full amount because he wasn’t in shape to play last season. However, the arbitrator ruled in favor of Williams, who received $600,000 minus 50% of everything over the NBA minimum salary of $150,000 that he earned this year. The Indiana Pacers signed Williams to a $375,00 contract before waiving him.