Clippers Show Just a Little Fight in Phoenix

The Clippers had won three of their last four games before the All-Star break, and hoped to continue the trend into the second half of the season. But L.A. started the game without Marcus Camby, ended it without Zach Randolph, and got crushed by the Suns along the way by a score of 140-100.

Camby missed the game with a legitimate excuse (an inner ear infection), but the same can't be said for Randolph. He was ejected late in the first quarter, after throwing a punch to the face of the Suns' Lou Amundson. It was completely unwarranted, too: Randolph had just elbowed Amundson to the ground, and when Amundson got up and told Zach it wasn't appreciated, Randolph clocked him. He was immediately ejected, and will undoubtedly be suspended for several games.

Even before Randolph's early exit, however, the Suns had pretty much taken control of this one. They jumped out to a 15-4 lead, and had the same 11-point margin at the time that Zach hit the showers. The Suns scored the final five points of the quarter, and then really turned it on in the second before finishing with 81 points at the break, and a 32-point lead as well. The Clippers trailed by as many as 52 points in the second half, before the game to it's merciful conclusion with L.A. outscoring the Suns' subs by six in the final period.

Phoenix was playing for the first time since firing former coach Terry Porter, and ironically, Alvin Gentry's first two games at the helm of the Suns are against the team he once coached. The first was a laugher, as the Clippers started the game a step slow, and finished it without two of their best players while putting up only a little bit of a fight in the process.

The teams will go at it again on Wednesday night at Staples Center, and while we're unsure if Marcus camby will be available, we can bank on the fact that Zach Randolph won't be back on the court for quite some time. Just how long, however, will be up to the commissioner's office.

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