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Los Angeles at Seattle

SuperSonics 95, Clippers 88

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- When Seattle's Nick Collison was first forced to wear a protective mask a few years ago, he never once felt comfortable with the hard plastic shield covering his face.

He seemed OK with it on Wednesday, returning from a three-game absence to score 18 points in the SuperSonics 95-88 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

"I'm not freaking out with it like I did two years ago," Collison said. "It really bothered me."

Rookie Kevin Durant scored 18 as well to help extend the injury-depleted Clippers' losing streak to seven games, their longest since an eight-game skid in February 2005.

"There's a million things we can blame, but we're not going that direction," said Tim Thomas, who missed 12 of 14 shots and finished with seven points.

Collison broke his nose taking a swipe across the face from Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles on Nov. 27. He got clearance to practice on Tuesday and was refreshed when he checked in midway through the first quarter.

Collison made 7 of 12 shots and grabbed 17 rebounds, 16 at the defensive end. He also clamped down defensively on the Clippers' Chris Kaman, who scored just four of his 19 points in the second half.

"Getting Nick back was enormous. This was his best game all year," Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "He was fresh, but he did everything."

Collison wasn't the only bench player making big contributions for the Sonics. Wally Szczerbiak added 17, making 6 of 8 shots, and Seattle's bench held a 41-21 advantage over the Clippers' reserves.

Durant made just 5 of 13 shots, but was 7-for-8 at the free throw line and added seven rebounds. Damien Wilkins had 17 points for Seattle, who has won two of its last three.

Corey Maggette had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles, which never found its shooting touch, making just 35 percent. Thomas and Cuttino Mobley combined to make just 4 of 24 shots.

Most damaging for the Clippers was their inability to finish at the rim. In the first half alone, Los Angeles missed 11 layups, nine in the second quarter.

"It's not like we had Dikembe Mutombo over there blocking shots," Clippers' coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We got to the rim and we didn't finish."

The Sonics built their comfortable lead with strong starts to the third and fourth quarters.

Already leading by eight at halftime, Seattle took a 12-point lead early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Durant. The advantage was 14 late in the quarter after a three-point play by Szczerbiak, scoring as he cut through the lane, and then Seattle pulled away to start the fourth.

After 3-pointer by Dan Dickau cut the Sonics' advantage to nine, Seattle scored 10 of the next 12 points. The run started with a chuckle, after the Clippers' Al Thornton twice jumped early on a jump ball with Collison, who easily won the jump when the ball was finally tossed. Wilkins ended up with the ball and banked home a 3-pointer with 1 second on the shot clock.

Szczerbiak added a 3-pointer and two free throws and Seattle had its biggest lead at 17. The Clippers briefly got within nine, but Earl Watson's baseline scoop shot with two minutes left put the Sonics back up by 11.

"We got out running and good things happened for us in the second half, and we were able to take control of the game on both ends," Wilkins said.

Because of their struggles around the basket, the Clippers shot a meager 29 percent in the first half, thanks to their inability to finish around the basket. Kaman made 6 of 13 shots in the half, but the rest of the Clippers combined to make just 7 of 32 attempts.

Seattle didn't shoot that much better, and was unable to pull away from Clippers thanks to 11 first-half turnovers, continuing their trend of carelessness. Seattle, the most turnover-prone team in the league, finished with 21.

Notes

Seattle played without G Delonte West, who has plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The Sonics could get G Luke Ridnour back for Friday's game against Milwaukee. Ridnour has missed the last 11 games with a left quadriceps injury. ... Injured Clippers G Sam Cassell didn't make the trip and missed his fourth straight game with a calf injury.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Scoreboard
L.A. Clippers (6-11) 1718262788
Seattle (4-15) «1825302295
LAC:C. Maggette 23 Pts
LAC:C. Kaman 14 Reb
LAC:B. Knight 7 Ast
SEA:N. Collison 18 Pts
SEA:N. Collison 17 Reb
SEA:E. Watson 6 Ast
Players of the Game
SeattleLos Angeles

N. Collison

C. Kaman
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
1817319145

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Los Angeles
C. Kaman, C427-165-7145219
C. Maggette, SF377-178-940223
T. Thomas, PF352-142-27237
B. Knight, PG293-54-447110
Q. Ross, SF222-44-41138
C. Mobley, SG292-103-44348
D. Dickau, PG192-60-01215
A. Thornton, SF152-52-23016
R. Patterson, SF50-10-00000
P. Davis, C40-02-21112
A. Williams, C30-00-00020
S. Cassell, PGDid Not Play
E. Brand, PFDid Not Play
S. Livingston, PGDid Not Play
J. Powell, SFDid Not Play
Totals 27-7830-3439212088
 34.6%88.2% 
Seattle
E. Watson, PG374-72-436310
K. Durant, SF355-137-871418
D. Wilkins, SG307-140-024317
K. Thomas, PF272-71-29335
C. Wilcox, PF132-40-02054
N. Collison, C367-124-5173518
W. Szczerbiak, SF256-83-311317
J. Green, SF151-22-23214
M. Gelabale, SF110-50-03300
J. Petro, C111-40-02022
R. Swift, CDid Not Play
D. West, SGDid Not Play
L. Ridnour, PGDid Not Play
M. Sene, CDid Not Play
Totals 35-7619-2449232995
 46.1%79.2% 
Other Games
Bos 113 Final
Phi 103
Cle 86 Final
Wash 105
Pho 136 Final
Tor 123
Chi 91 Final
Char 82
NY 100 Final
NJ 93
Det 91 Final
NO 76
Mem 92 Final
Hou 105
Dal 95 Final
SA 97
LAL 111 Final
Den 107
Mil 90 Final
GS 120