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Blazers look to continue early success against Clippers

Nov 6, 2006 - 3:55 PM Portland (2-1) at LA Clippers (2-1) 10:30 pm EST

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Clippers made their first playoff appearance in nine years last season. The Portland Trail Blazers look to make a similar leap.

After a surprisingly strong start to the season, the Blazers will take on the Clippers on Monday.

Portland finished 21-61 last season to end up in last place in the Northwest Division. In recent years, the Blazers have been known for their poor conduct off the court. However, they have cleaned up their act and are led by a stable of a good young players.

Portland hopes that it can improve this season. On Saturday, they were impressive down the stretch.

Juan Dixon nailed a game-winning 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds remaining as the Blazers won their fourth consecutive game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, 88-86.

Travis Outlaw had one of the best games of his young career with 18 points and 15 rebounds for Portland, which shot just 43 percent (35-of-82) from the field and had only 10 turnovers.

Corey Maggette had 23 points and 12 rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers posted a 114-108 victory over the struggling Phoenix Suns on Saturday.

Sam Cassell, who sank the game-winning free throws in the Clippers' 96-95 win over Denver on Thursday, made six clutch foul shots in the last 39 seconds to help seal the win over the Suns. Cassell was 11-of-11 from the stripe en route to finishing with 23 points.

Portland has won four straight games against Los Angeles since a 90-86 loss on January 28, 2005.

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