Tuesday , Feb , 07 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Cassell’s three-pointers carry surging Clippers past Knicks

=== Cassell’s three-pointers carry surging Clippers past Knicks ===

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Sam Cassell had just 13 points, but the
veteran guard drained two huge three-pointers down the stretch to lead the Los
Angeles Clippers to an 85-82 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square
Garden.

“He’s got ice water in his veins,” Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said of
Cassell. “He just comes in and makes big plays.”

Elton Brand had a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who
won their fourth consecutive outing and moved 12 games over .500 (29-17) for
the first time since the franchise moved to California. Chris Kaman also had a
double-double with 22 points and 11 boards. Cuttino Mobley added 10 points, as
the Clippers won for the ninth time in 10 games.

Jalen Rose netted 23 points for the Knicks, who have lost six straight and 12
of 13. Eddy Curry chipped in 14 points while Jamal Crawford had 10 points in
the loss.

New York was again forced to play without star guard Stephon Marbury, who
missed his third straight game with a shoulder injury.

The Knicks took a precarious one-point edge into the final frame and the two
teams continued to battle closely deep into the game.

The Clippers forged ahead with 4:56 left on a Kaman bucket. The center sliced
down the lane, drew contact, and lofted a beautiful left-handed lay-in over
the New York defense to make the score 75-74 Los Angeles.

The Knicks didn’t stay behind for long, as 11 seconds later, Crawford lofted a
beautiful alley-oop pass to Curry to put New York back on top, 76-75.

The see-saw continued when Brand buried a fade-way to put Los Angeles back in
front 77-76 with the clock showing 3:09.

A Crawford running jumper 21 seconds later gave the Knicks their last taste of
the lead, 78-77, before the cold-blooded Cassell took over.

The veteran sharp-shooter buried consecutive treys to give the Clippers a
83-78 edge with only 1:13 left.

“How are you not going to get up to play in the Garden,” Cassell said
afterwards. “I try to win and I took what the defense gave me. It’s a team
effort that’s why we won the game tonight.”

New York made it interesting, however. Rose scored four consecutive points
with a driving layup and a pair of free throws that made the score 83-82 with
28 seconds on the clock.

Brand then missed a long jumper and New York corralled the rebound giving the
struggling Knicks 2.2 seconds to pull off the miracle.

However, Rose was unable to get the ball inbounds and was called for a five-
second violation to turn the ball back over to the Clippers.

“I give their defense credit,” said Rose. “They did a good job of denying guys
and they closed out the game. You got to give them credit. Sam Cassell made
two big shots at the end of the game.”

Los Angles was able to get the ball inbounds to Mobley, who was quickly fouled
with 1.5 ticks on the clock. Mobley drained both free throws for a 85-82
cushion.

The Knicks heaved a long inbounds pass down court that was knocked away as
time expired.

Defense dominated the first half. New York took a slim 19-18 lead after the
first 12 minutes and extended the lead to four, 40-36, at the half. Rose paced
the Knicks with 12 points while Kaman netted 14 for the Clippers.

The Knicks led 61-60 after three quarters.

Game Notes

Brand recorded his 27th double-double while Kaman got his 19th on the
season…The Clippers had the edge on the glass, 46-43…The Clippers were 4-
of-6 from long range while New York was just 2-of-17…The Knicks are 10-15
at home this season while Los Angeles, which will close a six-game road trip
in Detroit on Wednesday, is 13-10 on the road.

LAC NYK