Camby, Clippers just flip over flop
As Marcus Camby slowly walked off the United Center court Wednesday night, he glanced behind him, staring at a trail of errors, both mental and, the Clippers believe, otherwise.
Griping about officiating won’t do anything to change the Chicago Bulls’ 115-109 overtime victory, which ended the Clippers’ winning streak at three games. So Camby, sitting in front of his locker, directed his angst at something safer.
“It’s frustrating because everybody in the league knows what he does; he flops,” said Camby, who had a career-high 27 rebounds. “But he got the benefit of the call.
“We have to take this one on the chin and try to regroup because we’ve got two more games left on this trip.”
The “he” was forward Andres Nocioni, who drew a key offensive foul on Zach Randolph with the Clippers trailing, 110-109, with 51 seconds to play in overtime.
Randolph, who led all scorers with 30 points, protested the call, and again after rookie Derrick Rose scored on a conventional three-point play on the ensuing Bulls possession.
Then again, Randolph’s histrionics had little on Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy, who fumed when officials reversed a call that originally sent Al Thornton to the free-throw line to another offensive foul on Randolph.
That call came with the Clippers leading, 109-108, in overtime with 1 minute 53 seconds to go.
“We saw some wild calls,” Dunleavy said. “I can’t see it from where I was sitting on the play at all, but clearly an unusual play for us again.
“I’m sure the league will review it and we’ll question them and we’ll see what they say about them. They’ll give us their judgments. Nobody wants to make a bad call.”
Then again, none of this happens if Eric Gordon doesn’t foul guard Ben Gordon on a three-point shot at the end of regulation.
“That’s just a mental error you can’t have,” Dunleavy said.
Ben Gordon somehow made the double-pump three-point shot, then calmly made the free throw with 20.5 seconds left to tie the score, 106-106. Then came another Clippers mental lapse: On the final shot of regulation, Thornton threw one up from 19 feet.
“The play was for Randolph,” Dunleavy said. “He’d been killing them every time down the floor. Al just slashed in and got the ball. Yeah, he shot a good shot; the ball was in and out. But the guy who had the hot hand for us was the guy we wanted to go to.”
And so it went, as the Clippers scored the first three points of overtime, but not in the final 3:38.
“We had them, man,” guard Baron Davis said. “We executed well. We just gave it away at the end.”