Strange night, predictable ending: Clippers lose
Strange days and nights, indeed.
Odd things seem to happen to the Clippers before, during and after games against the San Antonio Spurs. Of course, there is no containing this general Clippers strangeness. But it has appeared to occur with frequency when the Spurs are in proximity.
Less than a month ago, it was Clippers owner Donald Sterling storming into the locker room to verbally thrash his players after a lopsided loss to the Spurs at Staples Center.
Then there was this thread on Friday night, the back story to the Spurs’ 111-98 win at AT&T; Center. It was the Clippers’ 13th straight loss at San Antonio, and they were led by rookie guard Mike Taylor’s 23 points, a solid follow-up to his breakout 35-point performance against the Knicks on Wednesday.
* The after:
Clippers point guard Baron Davis said in a quick postgame interview in the locker room that he was told he has a stomach ulcer.
Davis did not play against the Spurs and earlier thought he had either flu or food poisoning. “It’s been building up for a week,” he told The Times. “I knew it was something.”
Stress? He said he had a stomach ulcer during his days at UCLA, and Davis was in obvious discomfort when he was talking about his physical issues.
“It’s like somebody’s sewing up the top part of my stomach,” he said.
* The during:
Misfortune hit the injury-riddled Marcus Camby, again, less than three minutes into the game when he crashed to the court while contesting the Spurs’ Tim Duncan for a rebound and sprained his left ankle.
He hobbled off the court, with assistance, and also needed help getting back to the locker room. The ankle is not broken, the team said, but this could practically end his star-crossed season. The team said he would be out one to two weeks. Two weeks would mean he might get back for the final three or four games.
* The before:
The Clippers’ Zach Randolph found out through a phone call from his agent that someone had impersonated him on the Twitter social networking site and posted this, under the handle ZBO50: “i want out y’all. any ideas?”
Not true. Randolph says he wants to stay with his team -- unlike the Celtics’ Stephon Marbury, who wanted to flee the Knicks.
“Hell yeah,” Randolph said, smiling. “We’re a new team. We’re going to get it together.”
Randolph, who had 16 points against the Spurs, had not been as amused earlier. He called what the poser did “just crazy,” and noted that it came right after he had a good game against the Knicks, his former team. He added he is so old school that he doesn’t even text message.
“The only thing I get on the computer is to look at dogs,” he said. “That’s it.”
“Dogs and cars. I’ve never been on MySpace. Nothing,” he said.
The Clippers keep coming away with nothing in San Antonio, where they haven’t won since 2002. It was never going to be easy, not without Davis and Camby, and became even more difficult because the Spurs’ trio of Duncan and guards Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker were playing together in a game for the first time since Feb. 11.
Duncan had 13 points in 13-plus minutes. Parker had 18 points and six assists, and Ginobili, coming off the bench, had 14 points and seven assists, many of them spectacular, in 17-plus minutes.
For the Clippers, Eric Gordon had 18 points and Al Thornton added 16.
San Antonio led by 20 after the first quarter and Ginobili was giving his teammates an impassioned lecture in the third quarter despite a 92-71 lead.
“That’s the San Antonio Spurs for you,” said Taylor, who started at point guard in place of Davis.
“Once they get their foot in the door, they’re going to try to put their other one in and walk away with it.”
Or, in this case, run away with it.
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