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Maggette, Thornton lead Clippers past Raptors

Feb 9, 2008 - 3:56 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Corey Maggette hit a career-high five 3-pointers en route to a season-high 35 points as the Los Angeles Clippers held on for a 102-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday.

Maggette shot 9-of-15 from the floor and caught fire from the arc, while Cuttino Mobley added 19 points as the Clippers shot 71 percent (10-of-14) on 3-pointers.

"We're not really a 3-point shooting team, but I got hot tonight and was able to knock down five, and Cuttino was able to hit some big shots as well," Maggette said. "Everyone contributed tonight and played extremely well."

Thornton scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half and added nine rebounds for the Clippers, who took control with a 18-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters and then hung on.

"He's (Thornton) like our energizer bunny in the fourth quarter," Maggette said.

"I was just trying to step up and make some plays, and my teammates did a great job of getting me the ball in the sweet spots, and I was able to finish from there," Thornton said.

Chris Bosh, who collected 29 points and 12 rebounds, converted a three-point play with 48 seconds left to pull the Raptors to within 98-96.

Thornton, who scored eight of the Clippers' last 10 points, missed a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession. That opened the door for Toronto, but Jose Calderon missed a jumper with 17 seconds left.

Bosh then fouled out, and Maggette hit four free throws to seal the win.

The Clippers, who had lost six of eight, had five players in double figures in scoring and shot 52 percent (36-of-68) from the floor and 20-of-24 from the free-throw line.

"That's one that got away," Bosh said. "We just didn't play good defense today plain and simple.

"Defense wins a lot of games and, if we had played just a little better defense today, I think it would have really helped us out. Any time we let a team shoot 50 percent you're not going to win most of the time."

Toronto shot just 41 percent (33-of-80) and missed its first 10 shots of the fourth quarter en route to a 5-of-19 performance in the period, enabling Los Angeles to rally.

The Clippers trailed, 77-69, with 1:53 left in the third but used their decisive run to take a 87-77 lead on a jumper by Thornton with 7:58 left in the final period.

Mobley scored nine points during the run, which was aided by the Raptors missing 10 straight shots and committing a 24-second shot clock violation in that span.

When Toronto finally started hitting shots, Thornton had answer every time. Andrea Bargnani hit a 3-pointer with 53 seconds left to make it 96-93, but Thornton responded with a layup. That came moments after his thunderous dunk made it 96-90.

He also converted a three-point play which helped the Clippers expanded a slim three-point lead towards the end of the fourth.

Chris Kaman scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Los Angeles, which was playing without suspended point guard Sam Cassell. Cassell was suspended Friday for a flagrant foul against Boston's Rajon Rondo on Wednesday.

"We didn't expect to be without Sam and we run most of our stuff through him, but we still came out and played pretty well," Kaman said. "We executed down the stretch and finished the game really strong today."

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