Clippers fall apart in overtime against Detroit

Eric Gordon looked like a partially wrapped mummy with the layers around the area of his left shoulder coming loose, almost comically, in the first half.

An apt metaphor for a rapidly unraveling Clippers season?


Gordon could not prevent that from happening Friday night despite a gritty 28 points.

That was offset by Charlie Villanueva's 30 points off the bench as the Detroit Pistons beat the Clippers, 113-107, in overtime at Staples Center.

The Clippers are 1-9 and have now lost five straight games. They made only four of 20 three-point tries to the Pistons' 11-for-18 accuracy from beyond the arc.

Detroit outscored the Clippers, 10-4, in overtime as the Clippers shot two for 12 from the field, missing several layups and open three-pointers. It seemed as though nearly every three-pointer glanced off the rim, sure to cause a few more sleepless nights in an already troubled season.

"You've got to win, that's what it comes down to," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "You've got to make plays and you've got to execute.

"This is the NBA. Everyone is trying to win. Nobody is going to feel sorry for you We've got young guys, but that's not an excuse. We've got to go through it. You can't shortcut it. But hopefully we can get some guys back and healthy with some experience."

Unlike the double-overtime loss at Utah, the Clippers struggled in the extra session against the Pistons. They scored the first two points of overtime and didn't make another field goal until the game was well out of reach.

The Clippers and then the Pistons had a shot to win it the end of regulation with the score tied at 103.

Gordon lost control of the ball, under pressure from Tayshaun Prince in the lane, and then tripped, and the Pistons' Richard Hamilton missed an 18-footer with one second remaining.

"I had it under control and I was trying to go by him," Gordon said. "I stepped on his foot and just lost the ball. I probably should have just held it a little bit and waited until the shot clock went down."

It wasted a determined effort from the injured Gordon and a spectacular third-quarter air show from rookie Blake Griffin.

Gordon, who missed the last two games because of a deep bone bruise in his left shoulder, picked it up after a slow start.

"If you look at all the games, in the past, where I've played better in the second half," said Gordon, who had just seven points in the first two quarters. "That's when the game gets tough and that's when I want to start picking it up. I like to get the team going."

Griffin also got stronger as the game went along. He had 18 points and 18 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.

Then there were the flying dunks and hard falls.

Someone at very accurately called Griffin the Evel Knievel of power forwards.

Unfortunately, it is the Clippers who are crashing hard after the first 10 games.

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