Injured players will get lots of time to rest

Times Staff Writer

The Clippers’ gift this holiday season?

Rest -- and lots of it.

They have four days in between games with a back-to-back set against the Phoenix Suns on the horizon. They will be completely off until the day after Christmas when they resume practice.

The Clippers have lost four straight games and six straight at home.

The time off will allow Sam Cassell, who played nine minutes against the San Antonio Spurs after sitting out 12 games because of a strained calf, and leading scorer Corey Maggette, who sat because of a sore right knee, to further heal.


“It helped,” Cassell said of playing against the Spurs. “It let me know that I can play. I’ve got a couple more days to rest now a little bit.

“We’re a beat bunch of guys right now, so any rest we can get, it’s going to help.”

And the down time will benefit center Chris Kaman, who is averaging a career-high 39.1 minutes and is the only Clipper who has played in every game.

Coach Mike Dunleavy says he has limited Kaman to about 30 minutes of practice at each team gathering.

“We are going to give them a couple days off,” he said. “That should rejuvenate them for another period and we’ll see how it flows to the All-Star break and manage their time off in what they do.”

Guard Cuttino Mobley said he expected to come back healthy after the break. A groin injury, bursitis in his elbow and a stomach virus have hindered him since the fourth game of the season.

“I’ve been feeling healthy ever since Memphis [on Dec. 14],” said Mobley, noting the exception of the Toronto game he missed because of the virus.

“I’m getting my spunk back a little bit. These three days are going to help me so much. I’m going to do a lot of shooting, a lot of lifting. Working on my abductor and my elbow. So I can get back and close games out in the fourth quarter.”


Mobley said he was excited about what the Clippers showed in the second half when they outscored the Spurs, 51-39.

“I think we should take a page out of their book,” he said. “They move the ball a lot. A lot of randoms. I don’t care how good the team is. Teams can’t think as fast when you are doing randoms. It’s not set. And we did really well in the second half running randoms.”


Forward Tim Thomas, who injured his left knee in Saturday’s loss, was scheduled for an MRI exam today.