Clippers 99, Trail Blazers 86

Preview | Box Score | Recap

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)—Corey Maggette couldn’t play, but it didn’t matter much for the Los Angeles Clippers because Cuttino Mobley picked up the slack.

Mobley had 25 points, Elton Brand added 21 and the Clippers cruised to a 99-86 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Quinton Ross added 17 points for the Clippers, who ran out to a huge lead and held on. They’ve won six of their past seven.

“Right now is the time to play like that,” Mobley said. “You move the ball around. They can’t sit on me or (Brand) because they can’t double none of us. It’s fun right now.”

Brandon Roy had 23 points to lead the Blazers, who were missing two starters, and also lost LaMarcus Aldridge early in the game. Raef LaFrentz had a season-high 15 points and Jamaal Magloire and Travis Outlaw each had 13 for Portland.

Maggette, the Clippers’ second-leading scorer at 16.1 points per game, was scratched from the lineup before the game with a chest contusion suffered in a 105-101 win over Sacramento on Friday night.

The Clippers shot 58 percent. They are tied with Denver for seventh place in the Western Conference.

“We’re playing well, we’re in tune, and we’re doing what we’ve got to do to get a playoff spot,” Brand said. “Not just eighth, now we’re in seventh and we’re just going to try to win as many games as we can.”

Mobley, who was 8-of-16 from the field Saturday, led the team in scoring against the Kings with 26. He had 18 points in the first half against the Blazers.

“I wanted to set the tone from the beginning,” he said. “It’s always tough when one of your guys is out.”

Portland was without leading scorer and rebounder Zach Randolph, who was shut down for the season after undergoing hand surgery on Friday. Ime Udoka, recovering from a concussion, also missed the game.

The Blazers came out slow on defense and confused on offense. It took nearly three quarters for the team to get going.

“This one really surprised me,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said. “The game plan has been the same all season—to start the game with an intensity level and aggressiveness. But the intensity level just isn’t there at the beginning. It’s as if we need to get down by 20 points before we start bringing that kind of energy.”

Jason Hart had 14 points and Tim Thomas had 13 for Los Angeles. Chris Kaman had nine points and 10 rebounds.

Aldridge played 7:16 before leaving because of dizziness and was taken to a local hospital for observation.

Los Angeles guard Sam Cassell had back spasms in the second quarter and left the game.

The Clippers made 13 of 17 shots in the first quarter, going on a 17-2 run to lead 38-18. Kaman scored the first basket of the second quarter to extend the lead to 22 points.

Los Angeles led by 31 in the first half, shooting 67 percent from the field and making 17 of 18 free throws.

The Clippers cooled off in the third quarter, going scoreless in the final 4:32 and letting the Blazers make a run.

Portland cut the lead to 13, going on a 19-4 run and getting within 85-72 in the fourth quarter.

Notes:

LaFrentz played for just the second time since Jan. 29. He has missed much of the season with a calf injury. … Randolph was averaging 30.5 points against the Clippers this season. … Los Angeles has won six of the past seven meetings with the Blazers. …Portland was 24-of-27 from the foul line.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 LA Clippers
C. Mobley C. Mobley
8-16,  25 Pts
3 Rebs, 3 Assists
 Portland
B. Roy B. Roy
9-14,  23 Pts
5 Rebs, 4 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists

Scoreboard

Saturday, Mar 31