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Thornton, Cassell lead Clippers by lowly Bucks

Feb 12, 2008 - 5:04 AM By JR Radcliffe PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Al Thornton scored 25 points and Sam Cassell added 21 in helping the Los Angeles Clippers post a 96-89 triumph over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.

The win was the last stop on the Clippers' seven-game tour of the Eastern Conference, finishing with a 3-4 record.

"It'll be nice going back to the sunshine," Clippers swingman Corey Maggette said. "I'm from Chicago, but this is cold ... I'll be sending you a postcard; it's going to be great in L.A. I think we did a lot of good things, and we're just really fortunate to win in this place. These guys play hard."

"We talked about how going back with three wins off this road trip would be a nice trip for us," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Our guys bounced back after our last game, which was not a great game for us (a 101-80 loss in Philadelphia), and our rookie has been playing really well on this road trip for us and he came through in a big way."

A rookie out of Florida State, the 6-8 Thornton has reached double figures for the sixth time through seven games this month. He went 12-of-20 from the floor.

"Al is really improved, and the thing is he works very hard at bettering himself," Clippers guard Dan Dickau said. "He's going to be a pretty good player in this league and if he keeps working, he's going to be really good.

"The nice thing is that he's got that confidence and attitude that he's going to attack, and that's how you have success in this league."

Milwaukee seized momentum late in the second half, needing just over two minutes to erase a seven-point deficit and tie the game at 76-76 on Mo Williams' jumper early in the fourth quarter.

But after Williams' subsequent layup gave Milwaukee its first lead since midway through the second, Cuttino Mobley and Dan Dickau accounted for Los Angeles' next nine points for an 85-80 edge.

Williams scored 31 points for the Bucks, including 10 in the fourth that helped Milwaukee get as close as three points on two occasions. Quinton Ross hit a key jumper from the wing at the 40-second mark, giving the Clippers breathing room at 92-87.

Thornton hit a dazzling turnaround jumper as the buzzer sounded before the break to give the Clippers a 51-50 edge at halftime.

Milwaukee's Michael Redd, who averages 17.0 shots, sported an atypical line in the first - finishing with one point, five assists and four rebounds without attempting a field goal, despite playing the entire 12 minutes.

Redd finished with 11 points on 3-of-13 shooting.

"Michael Redd's a dead-eye shooter, so we just wanted to make it hard for him," Cassell said. "A guy who knows how to score like Mike is tough to defend."

However, the Bucks trailed by just two points after one period.

Charlie Villanueva, making his fourth start of the season for Milwaukee, walked gingerly back to the locker room in the third after spraining his right ankle and did not return.

The Bucks came into the meeting averaging just 9.0 turnovers through the first four games this month but exceeded that output in the first half with 10 giveaways.

Los Angeles forced 18 turnovers in the game, including 12 steals.

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