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Pacers 101 - Clippers 95

What is there to say about this game?  Given the fact that I neither watched it nor listened on the radio, not much.  I was originally planning to go to Staples and see it live, but the dog show was in Long Beach, and the ClipperKids do so love the dog show.  Thank goodness I was busy petting Bernese Mountain Dogs and Borzois, and did not have to witness a fourth quarter melt down in person.

Let's see, you allow a weak team to get out to an 11-0 start on your home floor.  You battle back, take a lead at halftime.  You build the lead to four (measly, but the biggest of the game nonetheless) with 7:06 minutes to go.  And then you proceed to miss your next nine shots and score 2 free throws in seven minutes.  Holy Shih Tzu!  

As it happens the nine misses were the good news of the fourth quarter.  The seven turnovers really hurt.  After Indy regained the lead at the 4:09 mark, the Pacers gave the Clippers every opportunity to get back into the game.  For over 2 minutes of clock time, it remained a one possession game.  During that time, the Clippers had 5 possessions and turned the ball over on 3 of them.  After falling behind six points, they also turned the ball over on the next possession, just in case anyone had missed the trend.

A meaningless Maggette three and two even more meaningless Maggette free throws helped Corey's average and the Clippers' point differential, but that's all they did.

One of my bullets in the game preview was 'Play Al'.  Lo and behold, Thornton played 13 first half minutes, scored 10 points, and was instrumental in the Clippers 2nd quarter comeback.  Unfortunately, that was all he played, as he re-injured his sprained ankle and sat out the second half.  Maggette's hamstring also flared up, meaning that the Clippers played the second half without Cassell, without Thornton, and with Mobley and Maggette hurting.  This is getting repetitive.

Chris Kaman continues to impress for the Clippers.  For one thing, he and Tim Thomas are the only regular members of the rotation who have not been injured this season (not that it would necessarily be a bad thing if Thomas pulled a muscle).  Against the Pacers, Kaman recorded his first 20-20 of the season (and third of his career) with 22 points and 22 rebounds.  He also blocked 5 shots.  He is currently third in the league in rebounding, fourth in blocked shots, and tied for third in double doubles.  He is also shooting close to 50%.  Unfortunately, he's getting so little help that teams are beginning to send double teams at him with more urgency and more frequency - six turnovers in this game (and 17 in the last three losses) attest to this.  He needs to improve against the double team to continue his upward trajectory.

Maggette and Thornton are listed as day-to-day.  Cassell, after initial talk of missing only a single game, is probably several games away from returning.  Milwaukee brings its 1-6 road record into town tomorrow night.  The Bucks look very beatable.  But then again, so did the Pacers.