Wednesday , Apr , 05 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Cassell rallies Clippers past Nuggets

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Sam Cassell had 19 points and 10 assists as
the Los Angeles Clippers stormed back from down 20 at the half to edge the
Denver Nuggets, 111-109, at the Staples Center.

Elton Brand totaled 18 points and 11 rebounds and Vladimir Radmanovic scored
18 as well off the bench for Los Angeles, which remains a game up on Memphis
for fifth place in the Western Conference.

Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 24 points but netted just four in the
second half and was ejected from the game late in the fourth quarter. DerMarr
Johnson poured in 22 points and Marcus Camby added 19 for the Nuggets, who
still sit comfortably ahead in the Northwest Division and currently hold the
No. 3 seed.

The Clippers trailed 77-57 at the break, as the Nuggets shot a scorching 81.6
percent from the field.

LA turned the tables in the third quarter, however, to pull within five. It
started the frame with an 18-5 surge which made it 82-77 following Quinton
Ross’ driving lay-in with 3:38 to play. At the end of three, the score was
93-88 in favor of the Nuggets.

LA continued to chip away in the fourth, and finally tied it up at 97-97 after
Brand followed a Corey Maggette three-pointer with a putback with 7:07 to
play.

The contest was tied again at 107-107 with about 1 1/2 minutes remaining until
Maggette threw down a dunk to give LA a two-point cushion. Seconds later,
Anthony was whistled for a technical foul and was ejected from the game for
spiking the ball into the stands. Cassell netted the ensuing free throw to
make it 110-107.

The Clippers got possession but Brand missed his dunk attempt, and Kenyon
Martin sank a jumper on the other end with 44 ticks on the clock to pull
Denver within one. Both teams misfired on their next possessions, and Cassell
was fouled with two seconds remaining. He hit just 1-of-2 to give the Nuggets
hope.

Patterson received the in-bounds pass in the paint but was forced to take a
turnaround fadeaway that clanked harmlessly off the glass as the final horn
sounded.

The Nuggets shot the lights out in the first half to jump out to a 20-point
advantage by intermission.

Anthony led all scorers with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting, while Camby went a
perfect 9-of-9 from the floor for 18 points at the break.

Denver used a 15-2 burst midway through the opening stanza to assume a 25-9
advantage. Greg Buckner had seven points in the run, which was capped by an
Anthony driving layup with 5:08 left in the first quarter.

The lead was whittled to nine, 38-29, at the end of the first, but Denver
erupted for 39 points in the ensuing 12 minutes to build its advantage back
up.

Game Notes

The Clippers’ bench scored 52 points in the contest…The 77 points is the
most LA has given up this season in a half…Brand now has 300 career double-
doubles…LA has beaten the Nuggets three straight times…The Nuggets
finished with a 54.7 shooting percentage.

DEN LAC