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A Traveling Man Finds His Game

Times Staff Writer

Mikki Moore, quick with a quip at his own expense, didn’t miss a beat when asked the last time he’d enjoyed a game like the one he played Wednesday night in the Clippers’ 102-68 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

“In the NBA or the NBDL?” said the journeyman center, whose pro career has included two detours to the National Basketball Development League.

Moore, 29, says his two stints with the Roanoke (Va.) Dazzle over the last two seasons, in which he also played 40 games for four NBA teams, made possible his Wednesday performance.

His confidence restored after tearing up the backwater league, the slender 7-footer made all six of his shots and matched a career high by scoring 16 points, continuing a strong start to the season. As Chris Wilcox’s backup, he has averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 19 minutes while making 12 of 18 shots.

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“I’ve taken hold of the opportunity and made the best of it,” he says. “Like I told the fellas in the NBDL, you’ve always got to be prepared.”

Undrafted after a four-year career at Nebraska, Moore takes nothing for granted. He played two seasons in the Continental Basketball Assn. before playing four with the Detroit Pistons. Two seasons ago, after buying out his contract from the Pistons, he played in eight games with the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks, sandwiched around a 42-game stint with the Dazzle. Last season, he played in 32 games with the New Jersey Nets and Utah Jazz, 17 with the Dazzle.

*

TONIGHT

at New York, 4:30 PST, FSNW2

Site -- Madison Square Garden.

Records -- Clippers 3-2, Knicks 1-2.

Record vs. Knicks (2003-04) -- 1-1.

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Update -- In four games against the Clippers last season, two before he was traded from the Phoenix Suns, Stephon Marbury averaged 35 points on 55.8% shooting. Former UCLA forward Trevor Ariza is averaging 9.7 points for the Knicks.


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