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Clippers use huge fourth quarter to top Timberwolves

Jan 1, 2008 - 6:14 AM By Jonathan Raber PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Clippers hadn't won a home game in over a month. Playing the league's worst road team proved to be just the remedy.

Chris Kaman had 16 points and 16 rebounds and Cuttino Mobley scored 18 points as the Clippers snapped a seven-game home losing streak by defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 91-82, on Monday night.

Corey Maggette had 17 points and Sam Cassell chipped in 14 for the Clippers, who got a much-needed victory at the Staples Center.

"I'm really happy with the win. I'm glad we played the way we played down the stretch," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Defensively we did a lot of good things."

However, things were not looking good for the Clippers, who trailed by 11 points entering the fourth quarter before turning it up over the final 12 minutes.

Los Angeles opened the final period on a 15-0 run to take a 74-70 advantage - its first lead since midway through the first quarter. Minnesota eventually got on the scoreboard with just over five minutes into the quarter.

"I have to find some guards to lead us down the stretch" Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman said. "We had no direction, no leadership. We have mismatches on the inside that we do not even recognize."

Los Angeles later took an 84-77 edge after Brevin Knight stole the ball and found a streaking Mobley for a layup at the 3:28 mark of the fourth to cap off a 25-7 spurt.

The Timberwolves closed within 85-82 with 1:33 remaining, but the Clippers scored the game's final six points to secure the victory.

"We made some plays down the stretch, hit some free throws and got a win," Kaman said. "It's good to get a win, even against a team struggling like ourselves."

It was the first home win for the Clippers since a 101-90 decision over Denver on November 21. Los Angeles had lost seven in a row at home for the first time since dropping nine consecutive contests from March 14, 2004 to December 21, 2005.

The Clippers went 25-16 at home last season, which was ninth-best mark in the league, but are now just 5-9 this season.

"It's frustrating," Kaman said. "We've got a great group of guys here, a great team but we don't play the way we're capable of playing to get wins."

Minnesota, meanwhile, continues to struggle on the road, having suffered 12 straight losses. The Timberwolves are 1-16 away from the Target Center on the season with their lone road victory coming November 26 over New Orleans.

"They (Clippers) got the momentum, that was it," Timberwolves guard Corey Brewer said. "Momentum is a big part of this game."

The Timberwolves took a 46-41 advantage into the half, and Rashad McCants' 3-pointer with 35 seconds left in the third matched Minnesota's largest lead at 70-59 entering the fourth.

"It is the same thing every game. I do not know what to do," Whitman said. "How many times have we put ourselves going into the fourth quarter in a position to win? A lot. It is a calamity of errors."

Al Jefferson finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds and Ryan Gomes had 17 and 15 for the Timberwolves, who shot 2-of-12 (17 percent) from the arc.

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