Fine Start Continues for Cassell, Clippers
L.A. Clippers 109, Milwaukee 85
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15 (Ticker) -- Sam Cassell played as if he missed the STAPLES Center.
Cassell scored 23 points in just three quarters and the Los Angeles Clippers made 34-of-37 free throws en route to a 109-85 rout of the Milwaukee Bucks.
"When we lose, we make adjustments and move forward without blaming anyone," Cassell said of the team's attitude upon returning to Los Angeles. "We have Cuttino Mobley, Corey Maggette and Elton Brand. It's their team and I just run the ship."
Cassell's effort helped the Clippers (6-2) improve on the best start in franchise history.
"There wasn't anything spectacular," Cassell said. "I just made shots, where last week I didn't shoot very well. I have made shots on the road, and I know I can make shots on the road."
"I am glad our team is playing well," Maggette said. "Sam has been able to come in and do what he does best. Everything is going according to plan."
Brand added 20 points and 11 rebounds for his 183rd career double-double, and Maggette came off the bench to score 21 in 29 minutes for the Clippers.
Cassell capped a game-opening 8-0 run with back-to-back short jumpers and Los Angeles never trailed. He finished the first quarter with nine points and ended the first half with a basket in the closing seconds to give the Clippers a 55-46 lead.
"In the first half, we should have had a bigger lead," Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy said. "I thought our defense was really good. In the second half, our guys came out and had a lot of pressure on them and had a great showing.
"It's nice. It is only eight games. Next week, it could be anything. If we take it game by game and play hard and we keep doing the things we are doing, our record will be all right."
Los Angeles opened the third with a 15-6 run and took its largest lead, 99-68, when Mobley buried a 3-pointer midway through the fourth.
Maggette played all of the third quarter after the Clippers lost starting forward Quinton Ross to back spasms at the break.
"I thought Corey played very well," Dunleavy said. "Again, he came off the bench and gave us a big lift in the first half. Quinton Ross could not start the second half, so we started Corey and I thought he played very well."
Rookie Daniel Ewing reached double figures for the first time with 11 points and had four of the Clippers' nine steals off the bench.
Michael Redd and T.J. Ford scored 15 points apiece as the Bucks opened a four-game road trip with its biggest loss of the season. Bobby Simmons, who won the NBA Most Improved Player Award as a Clipper last season, scored 13 in his return to Los Angeles.
Milwaukee (4-2) missed a chance to match its best start in four years.
"Tonight, I don't think we played like we have been playing," Simmons said. "Fortunately, we are a bounce-back team. We'll have to go back and look at the film and dissect it, see what we did wrong and made the corrections."
The Bucks continue their trip Wednesday at Golden State.
"Hopefully, it's the last one we have this year," Redd said of
the lackluster effort. "Sam Cassell got really hot, our offense
was stagnant, and they made adjustments and we didn't."