With Maggette’s status uncertain, the Clippers look to get back to .500 and earn a win in Philadelphia for the first time in nearly 11 years when they conclude their season series with the 76ers on Friday.
Maggette, second on Los Angeles (24-25) with 15.2 points per game, had 21 in a 103-97 overtime win over Philadelphia (17-33) on Nov. 18. The 6-foot-6 swingman, though, was inactive for the Clippers’ 94-74 loss at Cleveland on Wednesday night, one day after he criticized coach Mike Dunleavy following a 102-90 defeat in New York.
Maggette was unhappy about playing just 17 minutes against the Knicks.
“It’s just more of Dunleavy’s (stuff) again,” said Maggette, who recently had a meeting with owner Donald Sterling, Dunleavy and general manager Elgin Baylor to end trade speculation about the seven-year veteran. “I don’t get it, I really don’t. It’s crazy. I put in work. I deserve to play. It’s totally mind-boggling to me.”
Los Angeles said Maggette missed Wednesday’s game with the flu, but the Clippers could certainly have used him on the floor.
After winning the first game of a season-high seven-game road trip, Los Angeles has lost the last three and will now be trying to end a nine-game skid in Philadelphia. The Clippers’ last road win over the 76ers was 104-102 on March 10, 1996.
Los Angeles has fallen below .500 for the first time since Jan. 27, when it was 21-22.
“To be a quality team in this league, you have to be consistent about stuff you do,” Clippers guard Sam Cassell said. “Right now, we’re not having that consistency.”
Philadelphia has matched a season high with two straight home wins. The 76ers haven’t won three straight at the Wachovia center since a four-game run from Feb. 15-March 3.
Philadelphia was 19 games under .500 on Jan. 21, but has won seven of 11 to get out of last place in the Atlantic Division. The 76ers are five games behind third-place New York and 9 1/2 back of first-place Toronto.
“Anything’s possible,” Philadelphia center Samuel Dalembert said. “Yeah, it’s the worst division, but all you need to do is win the division and anything is possible. There’s still hope.”
Andre Iguodala scored 27 points to lead the 76ers to a 92-83 win over Charlotte on Wednesday night.
Iguodala has been the biggest beneficiary of a roster shakeup that cut ties with Allen Iverson and Chris Webber. Iguodala has scored 22 or more points in five of the last six games, and set a career high in points twice since Dec. 29.
“The way he’s been performing is one of the reasons why we’ve been as successful of late,” Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said.