The Clippers continue to invent new ways to lose this season.
The latest was to have Baron Davis leave near the end of the first quarter due to food poisoning, foul the Rockets enough to give them 39 free throws (14 in the last six minutes) and eventually fall on the road 103-96.
"I must have ate something before the game and it didn't want to come down or out," Davis said.
It sounds like a bad Carnac the Magnificent joke, but just how bad are the Clippers? They are 3-15, the worst start for the long-struggling franchise since 1998-99, when the team started with 17 straight losses.
To be fair, Wednesday’s loss wasn’t all on Davis. First because he returned to play the second half, and secondly because the entire Clippers team played pretty questionable defense on the night. Rafer Alston looked like an All Star on his way to 21 points and seven rebounds.
Chris Kaman missed another game with a strained arch (and coach Mike Dunleavy said after the game expect him to miss another 10 days). That meant Zach Randolph, a man who even his mother would admit has never been a defensive stopper, had the task of guarding Yao Ming. That went about as well as you would imagine. Yao got sent to the line 14 times, and finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
The Clips did make a game of it in the third quarter, starting with a 19-6 run and turning that into just a one-point deficit heading into the final 12 minutes. But even then there just seemed to be little doubt about the outcome, and with the Clippers fouling everything that moved it didn’t take long for Houston to regain control and cruise to the win.
Al Thorton led the Clippers with 24, Randolph added 23., scoring 18 of those in the first half.