Clippers Seek First Road Win in Minnesota
Posted Nov 25 2006 12:27PM
NBA.com Daily Confidential
The Los Angeles Clippers finally lost their first game at home. They will go for a different first Saturday when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Clippers (6-4) will try for their first road win this season when they play at the Target Center, a place they have won just once in their last eight visits. Los Angeles will also look to avoid losing its third straight game as it starts a three-game road trip that includes visits to Denver on Sunday and Sacramento on Tuesday.
Despite the team's 0-3 record on the road, including a 105-101 loss Tuesday as the visiting team to the Lakers at the Staples Center, some of the Clippers feel the trip might be helpful.
``This trip can definitely unite us,'' guard Cuttino Mobley said. ``We need to go on the trip and play hard. I'm optimistic of what we can do. It's not an easy road trip, but what in life is easy if you want to succeed.''
Los Angeles never led in its 95-85 loss to Seattle on Wednesday at the Staples Center as it fell to 6-1 at home. Center Chris Kaman had 12 points and 14 rebounds, while leading scorer Elton Brand (17 ppg) was held to a season-low seven points but had a season-high 16 rebounds.
The Clippers have lost three of their last four games since winning five straight.
The Clippers, who allowed 100 points twice in their first six games, have done it twice in their last four. They are allowing 109.7 points per game on the road, compared to 92.1 at home.
``We weren't putting them in situations where they had to make plays under duress,'' Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said of Wednesday's loss. ``We were getting outworked, and it was disappointing to see.''
Los Angeles shot 41 percent from the field Wednesday and has yet to shoot 50 percent from the field in any game this season.
``Right now, I think we are lacking a little bit of confidence when it comes to shooting the ball,'' Dunleavy said.
Minnesota (5-6) will be looking for its third straight win overall and consecutive wins at home for the first time this season. The Timberwolves are in the middle of playing four games in five days.
The Timberwolves moved closer to the .500 mark for the first time in nearly three weeks with an 86-79 win Friday over the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.
Veteran swingman Ricky Davis is trying to give Minnesota another consistent scoring option after Kevin Garnett, who had 18 points and 16 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season. Davis finished with 23 points, his second straight game with 20 or more, and is now averaging 14.4 points, good for second on the team.
``I didn't want to count my chickens, but I stayed aggressive with what I do and made sure my teammates were involved,'' said Davis, who is averaging 16.6 points and shooting 51.6 percent in five home games. ``It's important, especially on the road, to control the pace because once they get going, it's off to the races.''
That's been the case lately for Minnesota, which has played well enough offensively and continues to improve defensively. The Timberwolves, who have allowed only two teams to score more than 100 points thus far, held New Orleans to a season-low 33.8 percent from the field.
The Clippers went 3-1 against the Timberwolves last season, winning the last two meetings.
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