Hart gets start at the point

Times Staff Writer

Point guard Jason Hart moved into the Clippers’ starting lineup in Friday’s 99-89 loss to the Golden State Warriors and might remain there.

The newcomer, signed Monday, had 11 points and four assists in his second game with the team.

Hart said he learned a lot about Coach Mike Dunleavy’s offense in three days between games, though he needed to continue to study more.


The three-day crash course was a good start to prepare him for his key role, Hart said, because he hopes to help the Clippers earn a playoff berth.

“I think I’ve learned everything pretty quickly,” Hart said. “Every team runs most of the same plays, it’s just a matter of learning the terminology, the names of certain plays. We went over a package this morning and I’m feeling comfortable.

“You don’t run all of the plays in one game. You find three that work throughout a game and you rotate them.”

Hart has progressed well, Dunleavy said.

“For three days, he’s done pretty good, but he’s still limited,” Dunleavy said. “He’s totally fine when you’re going over specific stuff on a given day, but it’s just like anybody else when you’re adding, adding and adding.

“At times, he may be out of place, and we understand that. It’s just one of those things where three days doesn’t get you play sets, need plays, side-out plays and situations. It just takes a while.”

Shaun Livingston is scheduled to undergo reconstructive knee surgery Tuesday and might miss the 2007-08 season. Fellow point guard Sam Cassell, 37, has been slowed because of injuries throughout the season.

Livingston and Cassell have guaranteed contracts for $4.4 million and $6.1 million next season, but the Clippers might re-sign Hart if he performs well down the stretch.


Police are investigating an incident that allegedly occurred recently at Cassell’s home, though Cassell is not a target of the investigation, team sources said.

“We’ve had contact with the Los Angeles Police Department and NBA security concerning an incident, which apparently took place a week and a half ago at the residence of one of our players,” said Joe Safety, Clippers vice president of communications. “Other than to say that we have been advised that no employee of our organization was involved in any way in the incident, we are unable to provide any further comment.”


Fewer than 900 tickets priced from $15 to $35 remained for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Pistons, a team spokesman said.