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Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011

Clippers win over Lakers gets chippy

LOS ANGELES (AP) Although the Clippers were just a few seconds away from finishing off the Lakers and their seven-game winning streak, Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom refused to stop grinding and digging for one last rebound.

News photo
Clipped wings: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant goes up for a shot over Clippers guard Baron Davis on Sunday in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 99-92. AP PHOTO

That competition led to a confrontation, which led to a minor shoving match, which led to a major scrum and four ejections as Los Angeles' cross-hallway rivals put a feisty finish on a rivalry game that's only getting more interesting.

Eric Gordon scored 30 points and Griffin had 18 points and 15 rebounds after a slow start in the Clippers' latest stellar performance against the NBA's elite, beating the Lakers 99-92 on Sunday.

Baron Davis had 14 points and eight assists as the surging Clippers won for the fourth time in five games. Four days after beating Miami, the Clippers trailed by 12 points late in the third quarter before making a 16-3 run to blow past the two-time defending champions.

"We have a good rivalry," said Gordon, who scored 24 points in the Clippers' loss to the Lakers last month on Derek Fisher's buzzer-beating layup. "We always look forward to playing against these guys, and it's always real interesting."

This time around, Odom's scuffle with Griffin and Davis with 5.7 seconds to play was the attention-grabber.

While Randy Foye made a free throw to put the Clippers ahead 99-90, Griffin slammed aggressively into Odom's back while seeking position for a possible rebound. Odom grabbed Griffin's jersey and verbally expressed his displeasure.

"Maybe I overreacted, but I just feel like if you're up 9, a ram in the back at that point?" Odom asked. "Any other time, I get it. You play hard, you're strong, whatever, but the ram in the back (while) up 9? I don't get it, so I'm just going to have to react."

Griffin ducked his head and tried to walk away from the confrontation. That's when Davis shoved Odom firmly in the chest, leading to both teams circling under the hoop.

"I was just helping my teammate and being a backup," Davis said. "People take shots at Blake, and they've been doing it all season. . . . It was just a bunch of lollygagging and arguing, but it wasn't nothing. It was just playing tag."

Spurs blast Nuggets

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Tony Parker scored 30 points for San Antonio, Carmelo Anthony labored through a rough game as rumors of an imminent trade slightly cooled, and the Spurs beat the Denver Nuggets 110-97 on Sunday.

Anthony, upbeat before the game, scored 12 points on just 5-of-17 shooting.

The NBA-best Spurs (35-6) won their sixth in a row.

Anthony didn't speak to reporters before the game. He sang with a smile as he strolled through the locker room, but he didn't look as content while missing two of his first 11 shots.

Nuggets head coach George Karl arrived in San Antonio feeling good about his team, but Denver's three-game winning streak was halted. The Nuggets have two days off before finding out whether Anthony will be back in the lineup Wednesday against Oklahoma City.

Karl said the Nuggets have to "keep our focus, keep on fighting through the drama." He added he had not spoken to general manager Masai Ujiri since Friday.

"I'm sure if there's any drastic change he would've called me," Karl said.



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