Clippers end skid in double overtime
They entered windless. They left winless.
The Sacramento Kings -- or what was left of them -- somewhat staggered into Staples Center on Wednesday night.
They lagged from a drag-out loss to the Lakers an evening earlier. They were without leading scorer Kevin Martin, without bruising forward Ron Artest.
The Clippers had some issues before finally outlasting the Kings, 116-109, in double overtime, their first victory in seven games.
The Kings departed still without a victory in their own division, the only NBA team with that distinction.
Al Thornton scored 22 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and overtime sessions and Dan Dickau scored a season-high 20 points to lead the Clippers, who trailed by as many as 17 points.
“We are out of the playoff race, but for us to salvage the season we need to continue playing hard,” Dickau said.
Beno Udrih scored 25 points for the Kings.
Dickau made a three-point shot with a little more than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter and Thornton tied the score, 91-91, with a crossover dribble that resulted in a 19-foot jump shot.
The first overtime ended, 97-97. The Clippers took control in the second overtime period behind Thornton, the rookie who capped his scoring with a dunk.
Thornton said he became peeved at non-calls in the first half, then was intent on being more aggressive in the second half.
“I was just upset and frustrated,” said Thornton, who made eight of his 13 shots in the second half, including three three-pointers.
Corey Maggette scored 25 points. He made only six of his 21 shots, but 12 of his 13 free throws.
For the Clippers, at least, there are always the Kings.
They may have only 20 victories in 59 games, but three are against Sacramento.
Artest (sore right knee) and Martin (bruised right thumb) were sidelined after Tuesday’s game.
The win ends a recent past the Clippers are all too eager to put aside. Their six losses were by an average of 18.3 points and five came at Staples Center.
That’s enough to frustrate center Chris Kaman, who had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
“When was the last time we beat a team of any importance?” Kaman said. “This is a team we should have beaten by 20 points without the overtimes. So, I’m still not sold on the team. We need to do things the right way.”
As aggressive as Elton Brand is on the court, Coach Mike Dunleavy preached for patience in the All-Star forward’s return from a ruptured Achilles’ tendon.
Dunleavy said Brand will soon be cleared for full-court practices, but he also said that Brand’s time frame for returning may be premature.
Brand said he wants to return in about two weeks. Dunleavy’s early estimation is that it will take about a month.
“You might say, if you were in a playoff run, bring him back as soon as you can,” Dunleavy said. “Give me 15 minutes tonight, then 24 minutes, then 30 minutes and build him up that way. But at this point, there is no reason for that.”
Point guard Shaun Livingston is scheduled to have his surgically repaired left knee reexamined by Dr. James Andrews today in San Francisco. . . . Forward Tim Thomas missed a third consecutive game with a strained left groin.