for this game

Without Livingston, Clippers hold off SuperSonics

Mar 1, 2007 - 7:29 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Clippers did not miss Shaun Livingston. But they may be without his replacement.

In their first game without the injured point guard, Elton Brand had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead six players in double figures as the Clippers won their third straight game, a 96-91 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.

Corey Maggette scored 18 points for Los Angeles, which saw veteran guard Sam Cassell pull up lame with a groin injury in the fourth quarter. In his 14th season, Cassell was to get the majority of the minutes with Livingston out.

"It's about playing good basketball," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We can't look at other people to do our job for us. We have to come out and take care of our own business. We have basically a MASH unit at times right now and guys have to dig down and guys that come in have to pick us up."

Los Angeles remained one-half game ahead of the New Orleans Hornets in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"Right now, everything that has happened is on the back burner compared to our main focus the playoff race," Dunleavy said. "In order for us to reach our goal, to get into the playoffs, we have to bank home wins and go on the road and get some wins."

One of the cornerstones of the Clippers' organization, Livingston has multiple torn ligaments in his left knee after suffering a devastating injury in Monday's win over Charlotte. The 21-year-old guard tore his ACL, PCL, MCL and lateral meniscus and will be out eight to 12 months.

"We're missing one of our key components, our young guys and some guys had to step it up and they did a good job," Los Angeles guard Cuttino Mobley said. "I'm happy we stepped it up late. We need to show that intensity in the first quarter as opposed to the fourth. We made some key buckets and made some key stops in the fourth quarter, and that's what it is all about. It's playoffs every single game for us."

On Wednesday, numerous Los Angeles players stepped up to fill the void, including Maggette when it mattered most. With the game tied, 91-91, with 45 seconds left, he drove the lane and was fouled as he split a double-team by SuperSonics forwards Rashard Lewis and Chris Wilcox.

"We have a lot of talent on this team and guys have to step up, myself included," said Clippers guard Daniel Ewing, who will see more minutes with the injury problems. "We have to stay together as a team and use the injuries to boost morale and kind of do it for Shaun."

The teams will play the second game of back-to-back in Seattle on Thursday.

"I thought I played pretty well," Ewing said. "I got the feel of the game, let it come to me. It was good minutes. We play these guys (Thursday) so I want to try and make a difference in the way they guard me."

Maggette, who shot 7-of-13 from the field, nailed both free throws as the Clippers took the lead for good.

Brand shot 5-of-14 from the field and Cassell was 7-of-16 for Los Angeles, which shot 46 percent (37-of-81) and committed just nine turnovers.

Despite missing all five of his shots from the arc, Lewis scored 21 points for Seattle, which shot 47 percent (37-of-81).

"I don't think Rashard (Lewis) gets any protection whatsoever," Sonics coach Bob Hill said. "We got to the foul line more often in the second half and we had our shots, we just didn't make them. Ray (Allen) didn't have a good night and Rashard was off going 6-of-17. We didn't shoot particularly well, but we were still in it."

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