Raptors Fall To Clippers For Eighth Straight Loss
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January 22, 2012
LOS ANGELES(AP) After Mo Williams' big fourth quarter helped the Los Angeles Clippers send the Toronto Raptors to their eighth straight loss, he preferred to share the credit with his teammates.
"I didn't do it by myself. I mean, let's get that straight," Williams said after scoring his team's first 17 points of the fourth quarter finishing with 26 in the Clippers' 103-91 victory on Sunday.
"Anytime you're doing something, you're not doing it alone. You can't play one-on-five - not in this league. It might look like it because I'm the guy making the baskets. But trust me, there's a lot of things that have to go on for me to get the ball in the right spots."
Williams went to work in the fourth and helped Los Angeles open up a 93-73 lead with 7:22 remaining after Toronto trimmed a 22-point deficit to 13 on Leandro Barbosa's 3-pointer with 8:25 to play.
"Obviously, my teammates know how to set screens. That's one thing we do really well," Williams said. "Today we really executed and the guys got me the ball in the right spots. I've been in this league nine years, so I think everybody's pretty confident with what I can do. I'm just playing and trying to do whatever I can to help the team."
It was the third straight game in which Williams scored at least 25 points. In Friday night's 101-98 loss to Minnesota, he was ejected with 6:21 left in the game after picking up his second technical foul. The Clippers were beaten by Kevin Love's 3-pointer at the buzzer, and it left a bad taste in his mouth.
"That didn't fuel me at all today," Williams said. "Obviously, it was a big ejection for myself, and I felt worse that I couldn't help my team after I got ejected and we lost that game. But I've been in this league long enough to know you can't worry about the last game. It doesn't really matter. You just have to move on."
Blake Griffin had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, playing their fifth straight game without point guard Chris Paul because of a left hamstring strain.
But they haven't suffered much because of their backcourt depth - starting with Williams.
DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 16 rebounds and Chauncey Billups had 14 assists.
Caron Butler finished with 15 points.
Barbosa scored 19 points and Linas Kleiza added 16 off the bench for the Raptors, who began a five-game road trip by missing their first 15 shots and were 35.8 percent from the field overall.
DeMar DeRozan had 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
"Another loss - and the way we lost is definitely frustrating," DeRozan said. "We dug ourselves our own hole. We tried to fight back, but teams are too good in this league to allow that. Teams are going out there and jumping on our team. No one likes to take a loss, so we need to act like it from the start."
The Clippers never trailed. It took just 15 seconds after the opening tip for Griffin to slam home Randy Foye's alley-oop lob to start a 22-6 run.
Los Angeles led 49-37 at halftime after Jordan helped the team build an 18-point lead late in the first quarter with 10 points and nine rebounds.
"Our starts have been horrendous," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "We compete harder in practice than we do to start the games. That is nothing against the Clippers. They've got a very solid basketball team, and they are going to be in the money at the end of the day."
Los Angeles extended its margin to 60-38 with an 11-1 spurt run capped by Butler's 3-pointer.
Foye got it started when he blocked a 19-foot jumper by DeRozan and went the other way for a driving layup.
Moments later, Jordan converted Billups' alley-oop into a reverse slam dunk.
Raptors leading scorer Andrea Bargnani missed his sixth game in a row with a left calf strain. Guard Jerryd Bayless returned to the lineup after sitting out 13 games due to a sprained ankle.
Notes: The Raptors, who had a 13-game losing streak last season, haven't reached the 100-point mark in 16 straight games since their 104-96 win at Cleveland on opening night. They've allowed 100 or more only once, losing 102-96 at Orlando in their fourth game of the season. ... The Raptors are 19-13 against the Clippers and 8-8 against them at Staples Center. ... The Clippers are 9-0 when allowing fewer than 100 points and 0-5 when giving up 100 or more. ... Toronto is 0-10 when trailing after three quarters. ... DeRozan is 12 for 38 from 3-point range.