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Roberts Says He Holds No Grudge

Center Stanley Roberts, traded from the Clippers to the Timberwolves for center Stojko Vrankovic in a draft-day deal last June, said before the Timberwolves’ 92-91 victory over the Clippers Saturday night that he does not hold a grudge against Clipper Coach Bill Fitch.

“I don’t have nothing to prove to Bill Fitch,” said Roberts, suspended for insubordination during training camp last season. “I think Fitch was being a coach and doing what the organization allowed him to do. No coach has too much power unless the organization gives it to him.

“I think there were certain people in the organization who did me wrong. I don’t hold no grudges or no bad feelings.”

Roberts, who missed the final half of last season after undergoing back surgery, is a relatively svelte 305 pounds.

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“He’s got the body of a 70-year-old from carrying all that weight around all those years,” said Minnesota strength coach Sol Brandys. “But he’s been a joy to work with. He’s a big teddy bear.

Roberts, who visited the Clipper locker room after the game, had six points and six rebounds in 16 minutes as a reserve.

Fitch said Roberts can be effective if he controls his weight.

“If they can keep him on the floor he can be a talent,” Fitch said.

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Vrankovic made four of six shots and had eight points and four rebounds in 20 minutes.

“Stojko is doing what he can do,” Fitch said. “We’d like to see him come on and do some things better, but time will tell.

“We don’t put him out there to score points. We put him out there to protect the middle and get some rebounds.”

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Guard Brent Barry, who made his first seven shots and had 17 points in the first quarter of last Thursday night’s four-point victory over the Golden State Warriors, missed 11 of 13 shots against the Timberwolves.

Barry missed five of six three-point shots and had seven points, five rebounds, four assists and one blocked shot.

“I think his natural position is shooting guard,” Fitch said. “But there are times we play him at point guard because when we bring [Eric Piatkowski] in I like to leave him out there.

“He can play both, but if you asked, ‘Is he a shortstop or a second baseman?,’ I’d say he’s a shortstop.”

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Site--FleetCenter.

TV--Fox Sports West 2.

Radio--KEZY (95.9), Lite (92.7).

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Records--Clippers 5-21, Celtics 11-12.

Record vs. Celtics (1996-97)--2-0.

Update--The Clippers squandered a three-point lead in the final 17 seconds of a 92-91 loss at Minnesota Saturday night in the opening game of a three-game trip. They have lost 11 of 13 road games this season. The Celtics have won two consecutive games and three of their last four. Antoine Walker is seventh in the NBA in scoring (21.6) and 14th in rebounding (10.1).


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