CLIPPERS BOUNCED IN ROUND ONE IN VEGAS
Eric Patten, Clippers.com
The Clippers’ stay in the Summer League championship tournament was short lived.
For the second year in a row the Clippers were knocked out on the tournament’s first day, left to play a consolation game before the conclusion of their nearly two-week stay in Las Vegas.
On Wednesday at Cox Pavilion, they lost, 96-87, in a rematch with the 13th seeded Miami Heat, a team they defeated two days earlier.
The 20th-seeded Clippers were without veteran guard Delonte West, who sat out after spraining his right ankle in the third quarter Tuesday. They play the Raptors in a consolation game on Friday.
Even without West and making just three 3-pointers, the Clippers (1-3) were tied with the Heat at halftime thanks in large part to center Keith Benson, who had a dozen of his team-high 18 points in the first half.
Benson added six rebounds off the bench, while DeAndre Liggins had 14 points and Amath M’Baye had 12 with three assists and three rebounds. Five Clippers scored in double-figures.
However, the Heat (1-3) never trailed after a Jon Brockman free throw gave the Clippers a 42-41 lead on the opening possession of the third quarter. James Nunnally and Justin Hamilton had seven points apiece in the period and helped the Heat pull away.
And even when the Clippers sliced their deficit to 77-73 with 7:06 left on a Benson layup, the Heat ran off eight of the next 10 points in the game and regained control.
Hamilton had 18 points for Miami and Scott Suggs added 15. In two games against the Clippers, Suggs scored 29 combined points. He had two in the remainder of Summer League.
The Clippers only win this summer came against the Heat on Monday when they took the game 91-85… Even without West, the Clippers had 17 assists on 34 field goals… After three straight games of double-digit turnovers the Clippers had just nine against Miami on Wednesday… Cameron Clark scored a personal Summer League best 12 points off the bench… Shawn Jones had a team-high eight rebounds. He secured seven or more boards in three of his four games…