Brand, Kaman Lead Clippers Past Knicks
L.A. Clippers 85, New York 82
NEW YORK, Feb. 7 (Ticker) -- By not fearing the road, the Los Angeles Clippers have experienced another first.
Elton Brand and Chris Kaman each had double-doubles and the Clippers got two big 3-pointers from Sam Cassell in the final 1:49 and post an 85-82 victory over the New York Knicks.
After that season, the franchise lost 107 games in its final two seasons in Buffalo before heading to San Diego in 1978. Renamed the Clippers, the team never finished more than four games over .500 before heading to Los Angeles in 1984.
The last time Clippers finished with a winning record was in 1991-1992 under current Knicks coach Larry Brown (45-37). They have dropped at least 50 games 15 times in Los Angeles, but coach Mike Dunleavy and Cassell have attempted to change that mind set, especially with playing on the road.
"I can't go by what happened previously because I haven't been here," said Cassell, who was obtained in an offseason trade from Minnesota. "We're doing all of this without our second-leading scorer (Corey Maggette).
"It's great to be 12 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history," Brand said about the team's tenure in Los Angeles. "We have a lot of milestones that we treasure. We appreciate them. It shows our hard work."
The win over New York improved the Clippers to 4-1 on a six-game road trip that ends Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons, who have the league's best record (39-8).
"It's a good thing," Dunleavy said. "It's kind of what we all envisioned coming in and being able to put together a team to do it. I said from day one to guys, 'Do not fear the road'. I was in Portland and we set the franchise record there for road wins.
"(You) want to fear the opponents, not the road. If you're playing someone great but otherwise the building and the crowd, you got to tune that out and just get a win and that's got to be the mind set."
For the Clippers, it was a struggle to get to the win. They trailed, 72-65, with 8:03 remaining but Brand and Shaun Livingston combined to score their next eight points for a 73-72 edge nearly two minutes later.
After Brand hit a jumper with 3:09 to play for a 77-76 edge, New York's Jamal Crawford made a short runner with 3:47 left for a one-point lead. However, he missed a 3-pointer and a short jumper, setting the stage for Cassell.
Coming off a 27-point, 13-assist outing Sunday at Toronto, Cassell buried his first 3-pointer from the right wing with 1:49 remaining that put the Clippers up, 80-78.
After Malik Rose missed a 17-footer for the Knicks, Cassell stepped back and buried another 3-pointer from the right side for a 83-78 edge with 1:13 left.
"He's got ice water in his veins," Dunleavy said of Cassell, who made 3-of-4 from the arc. "He comes in and makes plays. We set it up for him and he knocks it down."
"At the time, it doesn't matter what he's shooting," Brand said. "He's going to knock down the big shot for us."
Cassell's 3-pointers came minutes after he was inadvertently handed a technical foul by the officials, who initially did not notice that his anger was directed at teammate Chris Wilcox.
Recently acquired swingman Jalen Rose countered with a layup and a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 83-82 with 28 seconds to play, setting the stage for a bizarre finish.
After Brand's long jumper was rebounded with 2.2 seconds left by Malik Rose, the Knicks called their final timeout. On the subsequent play, Jalen Rose was looking for rookie Channing Frye but was unable to inbound the ball and was called for a five-second violation.
"They did a good job of denying us and they closed out the game," said Jalen Rose, who finished with 23 points. "Guys did their best to get open."
It was the second straight time Jalen Rose missed a chance to win a game for the Knicks. On Sunday against Houston, he had a tying 3-point attempt blocked by Stromile Swift in the waning moments of a 93-89 loss.
"They definitely did (have us covered)," Frye said. "We need to do a better job of getting open."
"Channing couldn't get out," Brown said. "That's a bad play on my part."
After the final defensive stand, Cuttino Mobley sealed it with two foul shots and Livingston leaped to grab Channing Frye's long inbounds pass.
For the Knicks it was their 12th loss in 13 games and sixth straight overall. With three losing streaks of at least six games this season, they have the league's second-worst record at 14-33.
The Knicks played without starting point guard Stephon Marbury, who missed his third straight game with a left shoulder injury.