L.A. Clippers 94, Minnesota 75
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Eric Piatkowski
scored 11 of his season-high 24 points in the third quarter and Elton Brand
had 16 and 13 rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers posted a 94-75 victory over the suddenly struggling Minnesota Timberwolves.
Piatkowki had scored at least 11 points in just six games this season, but matched that total in the third quarter, making 4-of-8 shots, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range.
"I felt real good coming into the game," said Piatkowski, who finished making 9-of-14 shots and 5-of-6 3-pointers. "My team did a real good job of getting me the ball when I had open looks."
NBA.comTV highlights from Wolves-Clippers:
56k | 300k |
The Clippers' Elton Brand shows his range against the Timberwolves.
Andrew D. Bernstein
The Clippers trailed, 41-40, with 10:39 left in the third quarter before seizing control with a 27-8 run. Piatkowski nailed a pair of 3-pointers and scored 10 points, and Brand added eight during the burst.
Michael Olowokandi capped the run with a free throw to give Los Angeles a 67-49 lead, and the Timberwolves never got within single digits thereafter.
Quentin Richardson scored 14 points off the bench and Jeff McInnis added 10 for the Clippers, who made a season-high 12 3-pointers.
"You always know how you want to play," Richardson said. "But we didn't think we would play this good and beat the Timberwolves by 19 points."
"It was our best win by far this year against a quality team," Los Angeles coach Alvin Gentry said. "The only way to attack this team is to be really aggressive."
Wally Szczerbiak scored 20 points and Kevin Garnett posted 14 points and 15 rebounds for Minnesota, which recorded a season low in points and has lost consecutive games for the first time in 2001-02.
"We're not the Minnesota T-Cubs," Garnett said. "Teams are getting up for us. We're one of the top teams in the conference and the Clippers came at us."
Piatkowski scored 10 points in the opening 12 minutes, incuding a 3-pointer that sparked a 7-0 quarter ending run to give Los Angeles a 20-16 lead.
The Clippers had a 31-26 advantage with 5:13 left in the second, but Minnesota scored 11 of the next 14 points. Chauncey Billups sparked the run with a 3-pointer and Athony Peeler's layup with 1:25 remaining gave the Wolves a 37-34 lead.
Piatkowksi tied it with another 3-pointer and Brand made a 14-foot jumper with time winding down to give the Clippers a 39-37 halftime edge.
The Timberwolves scored the first two baskets of the third, but Los Angeles outscored them, 54-34, the rest of the way and had its largest lead when time expired.
"We were really aggressive in the second half," Gentry said. "We didn't allow them to get set in their zone and it worked for us. When you play against a zone you have to make shots. Piatkowski and Quentin made shots tonight."
Minnesota shot just 36 percent (33-of-91) and made only 4-of-20 3-pointers. The Timberwolves went to the line just six times, while the Clippers made 12-of-16 free throws.