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Kaman leads Clippers to rare road win over Nets

Dec 12, 2007 - 4:47 AM By Joe Rizzo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- It took them almost 10 years, but the Los Angeles Clippers finally won again in New Jersey - thanks to some horrendous shooting by the Nets.

Chris Kaman scored 18 points and had 14 rebounds to lead the Clippers to a 91-82 victory over the Nets, their first at the Meadowlands since January 15, 1998.

Tim Thomas added 18 points for the Clippers, who had lost eight straight in the Meadowlands but broke through thanks in part to 15 consecutive misses by New Jersey in the fourth quarter.

"That's good to know," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Take another one off the books."

"I could not believe it," said the Clippers' Corey Maggette, who scored 11 of his 13 points from the foul line and added 10 rebounds. "They had a lot of ins and outs."

Los Angeles has won consecutive road games for the second time this season and improved to 4-5 away from home despite missing Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston for the entire campaign and Sam Cassell for a seventh straight contest.

The Clippers lost starting guard Quinton Ross to what Dunleavy said appeared to be a bruised tailbone with 7:56 left in the third quarter. Ross leaped in the lane for a rebound, bumped into Vince Carter and fell directly on his back. He eventually went to the locker room under his own power but did not return.

"It's always tough for us," Dunleavy said. "We still have a couple of guys struggling. We've stayed in a lot of games. The second half, we got a lot better defensively. Because of that, we were able to keep them down. We did a much better job defensively in the second half."

The Clippers shot 45 percent (33-of-74) from the floor in winning for the second time in their last 10 games, while the Nets shot 32 percent (26-of-81) from the field, including 5-of-25 in the fourth.

Jason Kidd had his second straight triple-double and the 93rd of his career for the Nets, who lost their fourth straight game overall and their third in a row at the Izod Center. Kidd finished with 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, getting his final two points on what turned out to be a meaningless layup with 28 seconds left.

"I'm not laughing at that fourth quarter," said Kidd, who did not commit a turnover. "There are no answers, but I think my teammates tried. When the ball is on the rim and not going in, there is nothing you can do. Fits have already been thrown, so for us, we're trying to find a way. We have to find anything that will get us going in the right direction."

"We got off to a good start," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "We didn't convert free throws. Then, all of a sudden, I think we stopped trusting each other a little bit. Did we miss open shots? Yes. But we didn't get enough open shots, we didn't show enough trust out there and that has to be a trademark of this team."

Richard Jefferson led New Jersey with 21 points, but he and Vince Carter combined to shoot 11-of-38 as the Nets extended their streak to 10 games in which they trailed by double digits at home.

"Maybe tonight there was a lack of trust," Jefferson said. "But we struggled all night. Tonight that might have been the issue. Two nights ago it might have been a different issue. A week ago it might have been a different issue. I think that there are a lot of issues."

"We just have to find a way," Carter said. "It's tough, it's frustrating. We're a better team than that."

Dan Dickau's 24-footer with 7:59 left in the fourth quarter gave the Clippers a 76-68 edge. He hit a foul-line jumper for an 81-74 edge with 3:06 left and put away the game with a pair of free throws that pushed the edge to nine with 77 seconds to play.

Dickau finished with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting in 18 minutes off the bench, and Ruben Patterson added nine points and five boards for the second unit.

"We've been struggling coming out of the third quarter, playing a little flat," Kaman said. "We did a good job getting deflections and hands on the ball. Everybody did good tonight. We're shy one of the best players (Brand) in the league, and 25 points and 10 boards is hard to make up."

Thomas' 19-footer with 4:51 remaining in the third gave Los Angeles the lead for good, 58-57, and was sandwiched between a layup and three-point play by Patterson.

"Ruben came in and gave us some energy," Dunleavy said. "Dan came in and made some big shots for us in the second half. They stretched their defense. They were coming hard at Chris every time, double teams and triple teams to him. There were some shots on the board for the other guys."

Josh Boone set a career high with 14 rebounds and added seven points, and Malik Allen scored a season-high 14 all in the first half - for New Jersey.

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