CLIPPERS HISTORY ARCHIVE
1991-92 SEASON
by Ralph Lawler



Elgin Baylor brought in some veteran help to augment the Clippers' obviously talented, but very young nucleus. 36-year-old center James Edwards and 30-year-old guard Doc Rivers joined the young players with a mandate to show them how to win. Both vets had a world of playoff experience while the core of the Clipper youngsters - Grant, Manning, Norman and Smith - had yet to play a single game in the post-season. Surely, their time was now.

45 games into the season, with Manning and Harper having played every game, the Clippers were three games under .500. Coach Mike Schuler had lost his players and most members of his staff. The season was spinning perilously out of control. Schuler was fired on February 2nd, 1992. Assistant Mack Calvin stepped in for two games, but on February 5th the team introduced Larry Brown as head coach. The announcement was made on our Clipper telecast at half-time of a game against the Lakers at the Forum.

Brown would have a full week, a virtual mini-camp, to get his team turned around. He took them to Pauley Pavilion at UCLA and seven days later… they were a different team. Brown’s Clippers won their first five games and finished the year 23-12 under the invigorated leadership of one of the game’s all-time great teachers.

For the first time in their L.A. years, the Clippers were in the playoffs. And for the first time, they finished ahead of the Lakers.

A best-of-five first round playoff series began in Salt Lake City against the Jazz on April 24th. The Jazz won Games 1 and 2 at home in dominating fashion. It was another story when the scene shifted to Los Angeles on April 28th. The Clips scored a 10-point win. Nobody could have predicted what happened next.

Race riots rocked Los Angeles the very next day in the wake of a jury verdict acquitting four police officers accused in the video-taped beating of Rodney King following a high speed chase.

The city erupted: fires, riots, looting. Game 4 was scheduled for April 30th, but the city was closed down. A nightly curfew was imposed to calm the terror-stricken streets. Karl Malone, John Stockton and the Utah Jazz waited impatiently in their Marina Del Rey hotel. Coach Brown and the Clippers fidgeted and waited and wondered when they’d get another crack at the Jazz. The L.A. Sports Arena was out of the question. Its parking lot was the central staging area for the law enforcement officials charged with restoring order.

Finally, it was announced that Game 4 would be played on Sunday, May 3rd in Anaheim at the Convention Center. It had been five days of fiery hell in the city. The Lakers had moved their playoff date to Las Vegas. The local fans rejoiced at a chance to get out and have something to smile about. The Clippers gave them plenty of smiles that day.

Playing on their home hardwood (transported from the Sports Arena) the Clippers exploded past the shocked Jazz 115-107, behind 33 points from Danny Manning. That’s the good news.

The bad news was that Game 5 would be the very next night in Salt Lake City. Bad because star forward Charles Smith was playing on a very sore knee that clearly would not respond well to playing games on back-to-back nights.

The Clippers put up a battle, but lost the decisive game the next night 98-89.

RECORD
45-37
Home 29-12, Road 16-25
5th place, Pacific Division

PLAYOFFS
Western Conf. 1st round
vs. Utah (2-3)
CLIPPERS LEADERS
Scoring: Manning (19.3)
Rebounding: Polynice (7.0)
Assists: Grant (6.9)

HONORS
Larry Brown: Coach of the Month (3/92)
Danny Manning: Player of the Week (3/1/92)
Doc Rivers: All-Interview Team
HEAD COACH
Mike Schuler (21-24)
Mack Calvin (1-1)
Larry Brown (23-12)

ASSISTANT COACHES
Mack Calvin
John Hammond

ATHLETIC TRAINER
Keith Jones


1991-92 CLIPPERS PLAYER AVERAGES
REBOUNDS
PLAYER G MIN FGM FGA FG% 3GM 3GA 3G% FTM FTA FT% OFF DEF TOT AST PF DQ STL TO BLK PTS AVG
Danny Manning8229046501199.54205.000279385.7252293355642852935135210122157919.3
Ron Harper8231445691292.44064211.303293398.736120327447417199015225272149518.2
Charles Smith491310251539.46606.000212270.7859520630156159241699871414.6
Ken Norman772009402821.490428.143121226.5351582904481251450531006692912.1
Doc Rivers591657226533.4242692.283163196.832231241472331662111921964110.9
James Edwards721437250538.46501.000198271.731551472025323612472336989.7
Olden Polynice761834244470.51901.000125201.6221953415364616504583206138.1
Gary Grant782049275595.4621551.2944454.815341501845381814138187146097.8
Loy Vaught791687271551.49245.8005569.7971603525127116513766316017.6
Danny Young (LAC)4488984215.3912060.3334753.887165066152470404242355.3
Danny Young (TOT)621023100255.3922370.3295767.851165975172530464742804.5
Tony Brown222543989.438722.3181829.6219192816310121411034.7
Bo Kimble3427744111.396413.3082031.64513193217370101561123.3
Tharon Mayes (LAC)34025.40012.50046.66701139023193.0
Tharon Mayes (TOT)242553099.3031541.3662436.667313163541016312994.1
David Rivers151221030.33301.0001011.90910919211407171302.0
Lanard Copeland1048723.30402.000221.000167550240161.6
LeRon Ellis291031750.34000---919.47412122411106119431.5
Elliot Perry1066615.40002.00012.500257141009131131.3


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