Clipper swingman Charles “Bo” Outlaw learned the value of hard work at an early age from his mother, Nadlene, who raised three children by herself after her husband left them.
Making his first start of the season in place of Rodney Rogers, who reportedly walked off the court in practice Saturday after a disagreement with Coach Bill Fitch, Outlaw blocked a season-high seven shots as the Clippers ended a seven-game road losing streak with a 99-86 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday before 15,416 at the Bradley Center.
“Whether we’re on a 10-game losing streak, or a five I can always depend on Outlaw to supply the energy,” Fitch said after the Clippers ended a two-game losing streak. “Bo supplied the energy on defense with his blocked shots.”
Outlaw made five of eight shots, and had 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in a season-high 43 minutes.
“We threw them a curveball by having Bo out there,” Clipper forward Loy Vaught said. “I think it really hurt them. He changed the complexion of the game.”
Outlaw takes pride in his defense.
“You can teach anybody to shoot the ball, but you can’t teach defense,” Outlaw said. “Defense comes from inside.”
Forward Lamond Murray, who had 16 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes as a reserve, said Outlaw’s defense helped spark the Clipper fastbreak.
“He brought a lot of defensive energy, which we needed,” Murray said. “He was blocking shots and starting the fastbreak.”
Signed to a 10-day contract by the Clippers on Feb. 14, 1994, Outlaw wasn’t expected to stay very long.
“When I walked into the gym it was like, ‘Who is this guy, he’ll be gone in a day or two,” Outlaw said.
But he’s still with the Clippers.
Outlaw started 13 games in his first season with the Clippers and 31 in Fitch’s first season. He started three games last season.
Outlaw replaced Rogers, who had a season-high six turnovers in his last game and had missed 20 of 35 shots in his last three games.
“Rogers had six turnovers in the last ballgame and he’s averaging a turnover every four or five minutes and we’ve got to get out of that,” Fitch said. “I think he needs a change of pace. I just felt after yesterday’s practice that Outlaw should have the opportunity to start.”
Guard Darrick Martin had 19 points and six assists, Malik Sealy had 16 points and Vaught had 13 points and 11 rebounds as every Clipper starter scored in double figures.
Rookie center Lorenzen Wright also played well, reaching double figures in points (14) and rebounds (10) for the second consecutive game before fouling out.
Outscored, 15-0, at the start of the third quarter in a 17-point loss at Philadelphia Thursday night and, 15-2, at the start of the third quarter of an 18-point loss at Charlotte Friday night, the Clippers blitzed the Bucks, 17-4, in the first five minutes of the third quarter to open a nine-point lead.
“It was like a broken record, we were doing the same thing over and over [in the third quarter] and it was costing us,” Sealy said. “We came out and jumped on them and it put a little wind in our sails.”
After the Bucks ended the third quarter with a 14-5 spurt to tie it at 73-73 going into the final quarter, the Clippers broke the game open with a 10-0 spurt to open the fourth quarter.
The Clippers played good defense as the Bucks missed 15 of 20 shots in the final quarter. Forward Glenn Robinson missed five of six shots and Vin Baker missed four of five shots in the fourth quarter.
“Our fourth-quarter defense was a key,” Fitch said. “The Bucks scored only two points in their first 11 possessions. That was huge.”
And Outlaw made a huge impact as the Clippers swept a season series from the Bucks for the first time since 1992-93.