L.A. Clippers 102, Portland 98
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5 (Ticker) --
Corey Maggette got to the free-throw
line and got the Los Angeles Clippers back above .500.
Maggette scored 15 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter as the
Los Angeles Clippers won their third straight game, a 102-98
victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
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Entering the game second in the NBA with 11 free throws per 48
minutes, Maggette made all 13 of his shots from the line and has
attempted 44 from the stripe in his last three games.
The Clippers never trailed in the final period, but the Trail
Blazers drew even, 92-92, on a pair of free throws by Zach
Randolph with 5:11 remaining. Maggette sank two foul shots on
the other end.
Portland made one final push, tying it, 96-96, on a runner by
Nick Van Exel with just over a minute to go. Maggette got to
the stripe again, though, to give Los Angeles the lead for good,
then sealed the win with a 21-footer with 19 seconds on the
Maggette made 8-of-12 shots en route to his fifth 30-point
performance this season. He had just three last season, when he
led the NBA in free throws made and attempted.
Elton Brand scored 18 points for Los Angeles (16-15), which is
over .500 through 31 games for the first time in three years.
Derek Anderson scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half to
lift Portland to a 51-48 lead at the break.
Bobby Simmons added eight of his 22 points in an 18-4 run that
gave Los Angeles a 66-55 lead midway through the period. Van
Exel nailed two 3-pointers in the final minute to draw the
Blazers within 75-72 entering the fourth quarter.
Damon Stoudamire scored 14 points off the bench and Van Exel
added 13 for Portland, which has lost four of five.