Clippers don’t get a break

first_img• Photo Gallery: 02/20: Clippers vs. Suns LOS ANGELES – The Clippers would like to think the All-Star break gave them a chance to come back ready to turn around their disappointing season. Sam Cassell, in particular, was nowhere to be found. He did not play in the second half and finished with two points. He is not injured. Corey Maggette had 19 points and seven rebounds, and Elton Brand had 17 points. The only Clipper who had significantly more production than normal was second-year guard Daniel Ewing, who scored 16 points. With two starters out and the high-scoring Suns in town, the Clippers were facing a tough task to come out of the break. Yet coach Mike Dunleavy still had the idea his team could use the break as a reason to start turning around its fate. “I think at this time of the year, everybody needs a break,” he said. “I told our guys, `Let’s get back and be rejuvenated. Rest up and start fresh here.’ I’m sure all the other coaches are probably telling their guys the same thing, but it doesn’t always happen. Guys separate shoulders and do all kinds of stuff.” That final line was a reference to former Clipper and current Laker Vladimir Radmanovic, who separated a shoulder in Utah over the break and will be out for two months. Phoenix led, 62-45, at halftime, and the undermanned Clippers simply had no answer for the Suns. Nash had missed the previous four games with right shoulder inflammation, and the Suns lost three of those games. [email protected] (562) 499-1338 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Nine months ago, the Clippers took the Suns to Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals. On Tuesday, the Suns took them to school. The Suns made the fourth quarter irrelevant and led 92-68 through three quarters. They led by 17 at halftime, by 14 in the first quarter and Steve Nash returned from a four-game absence and often made the Clippers’ defense look silly. Nash didn’t play in the fourth quarter, but had 13 points and 12 assists. He had eight points and seven assists in the first quarter, when the Suns shot 77.8 percent from the field. Shawn Marion finished with 31 points and nine rebounds, and by the second half, the Clippers basically had no chance. Cuttino Mobley (strained groin) and Chris Kaman (flu) were out, and no one made up for their absence enough to make it competitive. center_img Unfortunately, things aren’t quite that easy. In their first game back since the break, the Clippers’ slide continued as they lost a fourth consecutive game in a 115-90 defeat to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night at Staples Center. last_img