for this game

Hornets finish off Clippers

Apr 19, 2007 - 6:19 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Clippers first watched a playoff berth slip away and their final regular-season game followed suit.

David West scored 32 points and Rasual Butler converted a three-point play with 1.5 seconds to play to lift the New Orleans Hornets to an 86-83 victory over the Clippers.

Needing a win and a loss by Golden State (42-40) to make the postseason, Los Angeles never really had a hope as the Warriors, who tipped off 30 minutes before this one, raced to a 15-point first-quarter lead and coasted to a 120-98 victory in Portland.

A telling sign that the Clippers were aware of their fate came at the outset of the third quarter. Leading, 44-42, at the half, Los Angeles was outscored, 13-2, in the first 4:06 of the third period.

"I knew what the score was (of Golden State-Portland). I found out at halftime," Clippers center Elton Brand said. "We knew they (Golden State) had a big lead and we kind of focused on that. It was disappointing. You try and push it out but in your heart you are hurting.

"Guys were asking quietly. One of the video guys lied and said it was tied. Then we found out the truth and it was tough to take."

Los Angeles lost control of its playoff destiny by suffered a 105-100 home loss to Sacramento on Sunday, forcing them to rely on the lowly Trail Blazers to beat surging Golden State.

"It is a tough feeling. Knowing that even if you do come back it's not going to matter anyway," Clippers swingman Quinton Ross said. "You don't want to scoreboard watch, but it's hard not to. When you come to the bench you are still asking what the score of that game was."

Tim Thomas brought the Clippers back, scoring 11 points, including three 3-pointers, in an 18-2 spurt to reclaim a 64-57 lead.

"I didn't know. I was just trying to handle my own business and not worry about what was going on there," Thomas said. "I wanted to know, but I wanted to just concentrate on this game."

West got the Hornets (39-43) within 66-65 at the end of three quarters by scoring 14 points in the period.

The consolation prize for the Clippers (40-42) was trying to finish with a .500 record, but that was thwarted when Butler rebounded a miss by Marc Jackson and heaved up a looping shot that connected while he was stumbling backward.

"Obviously I'm disappointed we lost the game tonight," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "By halftime we knew Golden State was up by 18 or whatever and the guys came out a little bit flat. I think they still played hard, maybe a little worn down from last night."

Devin Brown and Jackson had 12 points apiece for New Orleans, which was outrebounded, 45-34.

"They have been playing hard all season long," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "To come in here and know the situation playing against a team that has to win the game - and come out and win is a great tribute to this team."

Corey Maggette had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Clippers, who still posted back-to-back 40-win seasons.








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    NEW ORLEANS 86
    LA CLIPPERS 83 FINAL

    Apr 19 12:55 AM
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    Pelicans vs. ClippersApr 19 12:46 AM
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    Pelicans vs. ClippersApr 19 12:43 AM


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    NEW ORLEANS 66
    LA CLIPPERS 65 END, 3RD QTR

    Apr 19 12:18 AM


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    NEW ORLEANS 42
    LA CLIPPERS 44 HALFTIME

    Apr 18 11:32 PM


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    NEW ORLEANS 25
    LA CLIPPERS 26 END, 1ST QTR

    Apr 18 11:02 PM