Thomas and Williams could be ready to return

Times Staff Writer

It was a sight for sore eyes . . . and sore ankles, knees and elbows.

Forward Tim Thomas stood beyond the arc at Saturday’s practice making three-point shots and forward Aaron Williams plugged the middle.

Both will probably be available to aid a depleted front line today when the Clippers play host to the San Antonio Spurs in a matinee game at Staples Center.

Thomas sat out four games because of a sore knee and Williams sat out eight because of a bruised wrist and still cannot shoot well with it.


Thomas said of his knee: “It feels pretty good. I’m still not where I really want to be, but I’m good enough to play and that’s a good thing. It’s not swelling up and it’s not sore the next day, so that’s a good sign.

“To be out there and mix it up with the guys and push guys in the paint, that’s what you miss. I only missed four games, but it seemed like a whole month.”

Their availability allowed the Clippers to run a rare full practice that included an even rarer full-court scrimmage.

“It was moving in the right direction, there’s no question about that,” Coach Mike Dunleavy said. “Getting guys back for the first time is a good step, but it’s not a month worth of training camp when you are in your zone. But if you can stay healthy, that will help us.”


The team will look for Thomas to stretch the defense with his long-range shooting and create space for Chris Kaman in the middle. In two of the games that Thomas sat out, Kaman finished with nine points, the only two times this season he has failed to score in double figures.

The Clippers are last in the league in scoring at 92.6 points a game and tied with Chicago for last in shooting at 41.9%.

To try to get things flowing against the Spurs may be arduous, but the Clippers played them decently in a 99-90 loss at San Antonio last month.

“We were down 20 in the first half and the second half we came back and did a nice job,” Dunleavy said. “We played hard and we were efficient offensively and did some good things defensively.”

Dodgers first baseman James Loney attended practice and played a game of H-O-R-S-E with Sam Cassell.

Predictably, the basketball player trumped the baseball player.

“If he is out here shooting jumpers with you, then you have to try and hit a curveball with him,” quipped Neil Olshey, the Clippers’ director of player personnel.



vs. San Antonio, 12:30 p.m., FSN Prime

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- 830.

Records -- Clippers 10-20, Spurs 22-9.

Record vs. Spurs -- 0-1.

Update -- The defending NBA champion Spurs are 5-5 their last 10 games and a surprising 5-7 on the road. Guard Manu Ginobili (sprained left index finger), who has sat out five games, will be a game-time decision.