Cassell Leads Clippers In Comeback Win
L.A. Clippers 101, Seattle 93
SEATTLE, Nov. 2 (Ticker) -- A change of scenery has done wonders to re-energize veteran guard Sam Cassell.
Cassell scored 15 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter and dished out 11 assists to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 101-93 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics in the season opener for both teams.
With the Clippers trailing by five points with 5:13 to play, Cassell scored 11 of their next 13 points, draining three 3-pointers to put Los Angeles on top for good, 95-89.
"Sam is a monster," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "That's what he does. He makes big shots. We set him up coming off a couple of timeouts and he drilled them. At the end of the game, when we were just going to ice the ball, he made the plays."
"I think this is what Mike brought me here for," Cassell said. "This team lost 18 games by three points or less last year and he didn't know who he could go to. I think he has a good idea who he can go to now."
Cassell helped the Clippers defeat the SuperSonics for just the ninth time in their last 56 meetings.
"In the fourth quarter, that's what he (Cassell) does," Clippers forward Elton Brand said. "We knew he could do it. We've seen it in practice all the time. It's great that he joined this ballclub. He is a great teammate. He's a great person and when he gets hot like that, I love him even more."
Brand scored 15 points and rookie James Singleton added 14 and 10 rebounds in his Clippers debut after spending the past two seasons playing in Italy.
"It's only one game but I definitely sense something different," said Brand, who is starting his fifth season in a Clippers' uniform. "Last year, we lost so many close games and we start off on the road and win a close game.
Coming off a season that saw him finish 10th in the league in scoring (23.9), Ray Allen scored 31 points, including three 3-pointers during a 21-8 run in the third quarter that gave Seattle a 71-58 edge.
"We just stopped playing, plain and simple," Allen said. "Defensively, the effort has to always be there and it just seemed as though we let them have every little bucket. ... It's disappointing losing a game when we had control the whole time. They just came down and picked us apart. I am disgusted at the way we played in the fourth quarter."
"I thought we shot ourselves in the foot," Weiss said. "I
thought we had a chance to put them away in the third but we had
too many turnovers. ... Our double teams were good but Sam
Cassell just hit some tough shots and played a great basketball