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Clippers 99 - Blazers 86

My bad.  Turns out this game wasn't a trap after all.  Or if it was, the Clippers didn't fall for it.

I have only seen bits and pieces of the game.  I'm a little panicky about the trip - lots of last minute details, dontcha know.  Say, do any of you know a good all night Passport center?  Just kidding.

I turned it on in the second quarter as I was packing, and the Clippers were building a 20 point lead.  They didn't appear to be missing many shots, an observation supported by the box score, which shows that they shot 58% from the field, 50% from three, and 80% from the line.  

I realize that close only counts in horseshoes (and hand grenades and in the backseat of a chevy and fill in your own joke here), but while the Clippers have won seven of their last 10 games, they've actually led late in the fourth quarter in the three games they lost.  So that's 10 straight games they easily could have won.  It's a little pathetic to be talking about things they could have done, but for a team that hasn't gone a week without being embarrassed since early November, it's a big difference.  Oh, and they've now won four straight on the road - their previous season high was two straight.  

The win lifts them ever so slightly into 7th in the West, a single step that may be significant - we'd all be much more confident against Phoenix in the first round than against Dallas.  And with home games against the 6th place Lakers followed by the 8th place Nuggets up next, the Clippers could solidify their position AND gain ground on the 6th spot in the near future.  (Best case scenario?  Finish the regular season with an identical record as the Lakers, but lose the tie breaker.  It's as good as a win in the City championship considering the lead the Lakers once held, but it lets us play the Suns instead of the red-hot Spurs.)

I'm off to Deutschland in the morning, and from there to France.  Try to keep the momentum going while I'm gone.

Auf wiedersehen and au revoir.