Hard-up Clippers take slumping Blazers

Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2002

LOS ANGELES -- Jeff McInnis scored 23 points and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 112-97 Tuesday night in a matchup of struggling teams.

The Clippers snapped a season-high three-game losing streak. Portland lost its season-high fifth in a row -- its longest stretch since losing five consecutive game from March 6-14 when the Blazers faded down the stretch.

McInnis, who had nine assists, led seven players in double figures on a night when the Clippers shot 58 percent and won without starters Lamar Odom and Michael Olowokandi. Odom missed his third straight game with a sprained right wrist; Olowokandi had food poisoning.

Quentin Richardson added 19 points, Darius Miles had 17 and Elton Brand 16 for the Clippers, who are 6-5 without Odom.

The return of Scottie Pippen after missing 10 games with an injured right knee didn't boost the Blazers, who lost twice to the Clippers at Staples Center last season. He had nine points and nine assists in 30 minutes.

Damon Stoudamire led the Blazers with 25 points, including 13 in the third quarter when Portland cut an 18-point deficit to six.

Down 72-54, the Blazers used full-court pressure to spark a 9-0 run in which Stoudamire hit a 3-pointer off a steal by Ruben Patterson.

Stoudamire scored eight of Portland's 10 points late in the quarter to get to 81-75, but they would get no closer the rest of the game.

Miles scored seven of the Clippers' first eight points to start the fourth quarter and give them a 96-81 lead.

Even consecutive 3-pointers by Pippen, Stoudamire and Rasheed Wallace couldn't get Portland closer than 98-90 with 6:37 remaining. McInnis had eight of Los Angeles' final 14 points.

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