TORONTO, Jan. 13 (Ticker)
-- The Los Angeles Clippers had to travel north of the border to end their losing streak. Lamar Odom
and Michael Olowokandi
scored 16 points apiece as the Clippers defeated the Toronto Raptors, 79-72, to snap a four-game slide and record their first win on a season-high six-game road trip.
NBA.comTV highlights from Clippers-Raptors:
56k | 300k |
Lamar Odom was one of four Clippers to score in double figures against the Raptors.
Ron Turenne/NBAE/Getty Images
Olowokandi grabbed 11 rebounds and Elton Brand
also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 15 boards as the Clippers rebounded from Thursday's heartbreaking 92-91 overtime loss at Charlotte.
"We needed this game," Odom said. "Today, we wanted to focus and come back strong. We wanted to focus on defense and play our best."
"This is a very key victory," Brand added. "At times, it seems like we're slipping. It's good to bounce back and win this game."
Down one point at halftime, the Clippers took control in the third quarter and carried a 67-61 lead into the final period, when the teams combined for just 23 points.
Los Angeles, which outscored the Raptors, 12-11, in the fourth quarter, opened a 75-63 lead on Quentin Richardson
's jumper with 5:23 remaining. Chris Childs
' jumper capped a 6-0 spurt that pulled Toronto within 77-72 with 1:17 left. But the Raptors came up empty on their final four possessions and Earl Boykins
hit two free throws with 23 seconds remaining for the final margin.
"This is a good win for us, especially after the disaster in Charlotte," Los Angeles coach Alvin Gentry said. "A win against this Toronto team shows a lot of character. We are pleased to have a win on the road against a team that will go to the playoffs." Vince Carter
scored 31 points for the Raptors but did not get much help. Antonio Davis
was the only other Toronto player in double figures with 10. Davis also grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds.
"I don't know what it is right know," Carter said. "We didn't put up points and we didn't defend. They were scoring inside and out. We couldn't really execute at our end."
After holding a 44-43 lead at intermission, the Raptors managed just 28 points in the second half.
"We're not shooting the ball well," Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said. "We've become tentative, we've passed up shots. When we're wide-open, we don't take them. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We just have to go out and play. We just have to find a way to win, and you can't win shooting 33 percent."
The Clippers improved to just 3-12 on the road by matching their best defensive effort of the season. They routed Indiana, 103-72, at home on December 2.
"You have to make Vince shoot the ball over you and force the other guys to shoot from outside," Odom said. "We got out of here with a victory. Right now, we're playing well. It's much easier when you do that."
The 72 points were a season low for the Raptors, who had a two-game winning streak stopped.
Toronto had opened a 29-19 lead after the first period, but the Clippers tied it by scoring the first 10 points of the second quarter. The Raptors missed their first 10 shots in the period.
"I think they're pressing, trying to play too well," Wilkens said. "They're trying to play perfect basketball, and I don't think that anybody can." Alvin Williams
' 3-pointer gave Toronto its last lead, 51-50, with 9:17 left in the third. Eric Piatkowski
's 3-pointer and back-to-back jumpers by Olowokandi put the Clippers ahead, 57-51, with 6:32 remaining in the period.
Two free throws by Odom made it 67-57 with 91 seconds left in the quarter before Carter hit a pair of baskets to bring the Raptors within six. Carter attempted 30 shots, making 14, but he did not get to the foul line.
The Clippers shot 41 percent (30-of-73) from the field while holding the Raptors to 33 percent (29-of-87).