LOS ANGELES -- Another game, another injury for the Los Angeles Clippers. Only this time, they managed to play through the adversity caused by Marcus Camby's sprained left ankle in the fourth quarter and snap a 12-game losing streak.
Camby and Brian Skinner each scored 18 points, and the Clippers pulled away in the in the final 6½ minutes with help from reserve guard Ricky Davis to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 101-92 on Saturday night.
"I was really pleased with the way our guys responded, particularly in the fourth quarter after Marcus went down," coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Defensively, we had 17 deflections in the fourth quarter alone, which enabled us to keep the lead and get the win. We got a lot of great contributions. We got a nice little post game out of Brian Skinner and we moved the ball well."
The Clippers, whose skid began with a 119-85 thumping at Milwaukee on Dec. 20, played the final 8:53 without Camby after he landed awkwardly with a rebound of Steve Novak's missed jumper and crumpled to the floor. X-rays were negative, but the NBA's second-leading rebounder was limping badly in and out of the trainer's room.
"It's just kind of the way that the season is going for us," Dunleavy said. "The good news is, it's not as bad as it looked like when I first went out there. It was a great sign to see him come back to the bench after they worked on his ankle. I think he even thought about wanting to go back in the game, but there was no way I was going to let him do that."
The Clippers, already down to 10 healthy players because of injuries to Zach Randolph, Baron Davis, Chris Kaman, Mike Taylor and Jason Hart, were leading 83-76 when Camby was helped to the dressing room. But they still managed to beat Milwaukee for the ninth time in 12 meetings overall and the eighth time in nine tries at Staples Center.
"We knew what we had to do, just continue to play hard and get some stops," said Mardy Collins, who had 12 points and 11 assists. "We were able to get out in the open floor and get some easy baskets. Ricky made some big baskets, but he also gave us a lot of leadership. He was able to walk us through things and talk us through things. It just feels good to finally get one."
Richard Jefferson scored 26 points for Milwaukee. Michael Redd, coming off a season-high 44-point effort in Friday night's 129-122 win at Sacramento and averaging 30.3 points over his previous four games, finished with 21.
"We paid him a lot of attention for the most part, and some other guys got some open shots because we were trying to take him out of it," Dunleavy said. "Coming off a 44-point night and the way he's capable of stroking the ball, we just thought it was better to have someone else take shots for them."
The inconsistent Bucks haven't had consecutive wins or losses in their last 14 games, the longest streak in club history and the longest in the NBA since New York's 14-game stretch in 1997-98.
"Tonight was a bad loss for us," Redd said. "In my eyes, this loss cancels out our last win. There were a lot of breakdowns defensively. We are better than this, and we have to break through this ceiling."
With center Andrew Bogut missing his second straight game because of back spasms, the Bucks were outrebounded 48-30.
"I think we were able to exploit them in the middle without Bogut pretty much the same way they were able to exploit us without Kaman or Zach Randolph in the middle," Dunleavy said. "Sure, they miss Bogut. But, hey, look, I'm willing to play all these teams. Give me all my guys and let them have all their guys, and we'll take our chances."
The Clippers, who came in averaging a league-worst 31.4 field-goal percentage, finished at 54.4 percent. It was the first time they shot 50 percent or better in 39 games this season. Last season, they didn't do it until their 33rd game.
Los Angeles made 13 of its first 16 shots and got off to a 28-21 lead. Jefferson, who scored 22 points against the Clippers in the previous meeting, beat the first-quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer and matched Redd's 14 first-half points to help Milwaukee take a 53-52 lead at intermission. Skinner, starting at center for the Clippers because of the injuries to Kaman and Randolph, made seven of eight shots in the half and finished 8-for-12.
|Oft-injured Marcus Camby is in obvious pain after spraining his left ankle. (Getty Images)|
|L.A. Clippers (9-30) «||32||20||25||24||101|
|MIL:R. Jefferson 26 Pts
MIL:L. Mbah a Moute 6 Reb
MIL:L. Ridnour 8 Ast
|LAC:M. Camby 18 Pts
LAC:M. Camby 11 Reb
LAC:M. Collins 11 Ast
|Players of the Game|
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|R. Jefferson, SF||39||7-13||9-11||4||1||3||26|
|M. Redd, SG||36||9-18||0-0||2||2||2||21|
|L. Ridnour, PG||30||3-8||0-0||2||8||4||7|
|C. Villanueva, PF||29||3-12||1-2||4||2||3||8|
|D. Gadzuric, C||23||2-7||3-4||3||1||2||7|
|L. Mbah a Moute, SF||25||2-7||0-0||6||0||1||4|
|R. Sessions, PG||18||1-3||4-6||4||4||0||6|
|C. Bell, SG||16||0-4||0-0||0||2||4||0|
|F. Elson, C||14||1-2||2-2||4||1||1||4|
|J. Alexander, SF||9||3-6||2-2||1||0||0||9|
|T. Lue, PG||Did Not Play|
|D. Jones, PG||Did Not Play|
|M. Allen, PF||Did Not Play|
|A. Bogut, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|E. Gordon, SG||41||4-13||4-4||8||2||1||14|
|M. Collins, PG||40||5-10||2-4||4||11||3||12|
|A. Thornton, SF||39||5-9||3-5||8||5||3||13|
|B. Skinner, PF||33||8-12||2-4||8||0||3||18|
|M. Camby, C||31||9-13||0-0||11||3||2||18|
|R. Davis, SG||20||5-10||2-2||4||0||3||13|
|S. Novak, SF||15||3-6||0-0||1||1||0||7|
|D. Jordan, C||11||3-3||0-0||3||0||4||6|
|F. Jones, SG||10||0-1||0-0||1||2||2||0|
|B. Davis, PG||Did Not Play|
|J. Hart, PG||Did Not Play|
|Z. Randolph, PF||Did Not Play|
|C. Kaman, C||Did Not Play|
|C. Samb, C||Did Not Play|
|M. Taylor, PG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|