L.A. Clippers 116, Milwaukee 108
LOS ANGELES, March 23 (Ticker) --
It looked as if Corey Maggette
were going to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to an
easy victory. It turned out to be a little harder to keep alive
their slim playoff hopes.
Maggette scored 33 points and Brand collected 24 and 10 rebounds
as the Clippers nearly relinquished a 26-point lead but pulled
away at the end to post a 116-108 triumph over the Milwaukee
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Winners of four of its last five home contests, Los Angeles
trails Denver by six games for the eighth and final playoff spot
in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles never trailed in this one and, behind Brand's 12
points in the third quarter, held a 91-72 lead entering the
final period. But Michael Redd
scored 10 of his 31 points in
the fourth and Anthony Goldwire
added seven of his 13 during a
17-6 burst that trimmed the Bucks' deficit to 106-100 with two
minutes to go.
"It got down to six points, but we were still confident the
whole way through," Brand said. "I think of all the close
games, we've lost all the time. If we'd have won those, we
might be fighting for a fifth spot in the playoffs."
"Just not enough time left on the clock," Redd said. "It's hard
when you get down that much to come back. We almost had it
accomplished, but they made big shots late in the game."
Maggette responded with a 3-pointer and added three free throws
down the stretch to seal the victory.
"I'm not a 3-point shooter," Maggette said. "I hit some shots
that helped our team win. The shots are coming a lot easier for
me now. I just want to keep it up. We have just 15 games left
and I want to play as strong as I can."
The Clippers jumped on the Bucks -- who have lost their last
seven road games -- in the first quarter, grabbing a 34-17 lead.
Maggette scored 10 points in the period and Chris Kaman
eight of his 13 while pulling down 10 rebounds.
Making the first start of his career, oft-injured rookie Shaun Livingston
added four of his season-high 11 assists in the
"I played OK," Livingston said. "If anything, I'd like to cut
back on the turnovers. I ran the team OK, but I need to be a
little more aggressive. Besides that, I can't complain. We got
Los Angeles' lead swelled to 46-20 just over three minutes into
the second period on Quinton Ross
' jumper and a free throw by
"I liked our effort tonight," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy
"I like particularly the way we started the game and got off
to a great lead at both ends, offensively and defensively."
After starting the Clippers' first 67 games, Bobby Simmons
off the bench in this one due to a lower leg contusion and
Dunleavy wanted to pace the forward.
"It was the coach's decision," Simmons said. "Unfortunately, I
only played 21 minutes, but that is good going into Friday's
game (against Washington). It doesn't matter. We won the game,
and that's all that matters."
Simmons was optimistic about his team's chances to make the
"We have to take it one game at a time," he said. "(If) we keep
winning, you never know, we might have a shot."
After his team fell behind Philadelphia by 5½ games for the
eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, Redd
knows Milwaukee will have to turn it around quickly to reach the
"We're running out of time," he said. "I think there's only 15
games left, so if we are going to make a push, we have got to
start right now. We believe we still have a chance until we are