Illness doesn’t sideline Maggette

Times Staff Writer

Bad surf and turf wasn’t enough to stop Corey Maggette.

Although Maggette suffered a bout of food poisoning from eating steak and lobster for dinner Tuesday, he was in the lineup Wednesday night in a 112-104 loss to the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center.

Maggette, who played six minutes and did not score, said he was determined to play in the season opener despite spending most of the day in a Phoenix-area hospital.

He received fluids intravenously and arrived at the arena shortly after 7 p.m.


“If I’m not dead, I can go,” Maggette said. “It’s the first game, the opener, so I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team.”

Maggette said he began feeling ill about 1 a.m. Wednesday and contacted team trainer Jasen Powell at 3 a.m. Powell evaluated Maggette and determined the seven-year veteran needed to be treated in a hospital.

In a hospital for several hours, Maggette returned to the team hotel at 2 p.m. and informed Coach Mike Dunleavy he wanted to play.

“It was bad, man, real bad,” Maggette said. “My stomach was tore up all night, but I wanted to be out there for my teammates.”


The Clippers had success last season using smaller lineups against the Suns, so 7-foot center Chris Kaman was not surprised when he began the season on the bench and Elton Brand (6-8) started at center.

“It’s a better matchup for us as a team,” Kaman said. “Not to say that we couldn’t win the other way, but we’ve had pretty good success against them going small. I’m a team guy, so I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”

Moreover, Kaman played in only the first two of eight exhibition games because of a strained left hamstring.

“I might be a little tight, rusty or whatever,” Kaman said. “I’ve only had a few practices, so I just want to work to get back to where I was” before being injured.


As of Wednesday, only about 1,200 tickets remained for tonight’s home opener at Staples Center against the Denver Nuggets, and fewer than 1,000 for Saturday’s game against the Suns, a team spokesman said.

The Clippers rank first in the NBA in new season tickets sold, and are among the top teams in renewals and total season tickets, according to the league.


vs. Denver, 7:30, TNT

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- 1150, 830.

Records -- Clippers 0-1, Denver 0-0.

2005-06 record vs. Nuggets -- 3-1.

Update -- The Clippers overwhelmed the Nuggets last season in winning a best-of-seven first-round playoff series, 4-1. In the series, Denver shot only 38% from the field and 22.1% from the free-throw line.