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Overton Gets a Guarantee

Times Staff Writer

It was a good day for Doug Overton and other NBA players who have spent more than one season surviving on 10-day contracts or waiting for a phone call to replace an injured player.

All players on NBA rosters as of Saturday were under guaranteed contracts for the rest of the season.

Now in his 12th season, Overton has played for eight teams, twice with the Clippers.

Overton began his current Clipper tour on Nov. 21, signing a free-agent contract. His roster spot has been tenuous because the team has several other guards. Still, Overton -- averaging 19.7 minutes, 4.2 points and 2.6 assists in 25 games -- has been more than happy to help tutor Marco Jaric on the nuances on playing point guard, and play when called upon.

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“It’s not about being ‘comfortable’ for me,” Overton said. “You can never be comfortable in this profession, totally. You want to feel comfortable and happy with how you’re doing as a player. You can’t worry about the other decisions.

“But I think I fit in well with this team. It’s a young team that can use some veteran leadership. It’s a great group of guys here and we have fun playing.”

And, if nothing else, he can at least call Los Angeles home until the season ends.

“It’s always good to know where you’re going to be,” he said. “Now I just want to continue to build on what’s been happening, and hopefully be here awhile.”

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Said Coach Mike Dunleavy: “Doug’s been very steady for us and given us good minutes -- that’s the main thing.”

*

TONIGHT

vs. Memphis, 6:30, Fox Sports Net 2

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Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- XTRA (690, 1150).

Records -- Clippers 15-18, Grizzlies 17-18.

Record vs. Grizzlies -- 1-0.

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Update -- Memphis’ modest two-game winning streak ended Friday at Seattle. Corey Maggette returns to the Clippers tonight after serving a two-game suspension for an altercation with New Jersey’s Kenyon Martin. Chris Wilcox (back spasms), who missed much of the second half of Friday’s win in Toronto, should be available. Quentin Richardson (sprained right hand), who did not practice Saturday, is a game-time decision.


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