Eight Is Not Quite Enough for Clippers to Beat Pistons

The injuries keep on coming for the Clippers, but that didn't stop them from almost beating the Detroit Pistons on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center. Almost. Allen Iverson got the game-winning bucket on a blocked shot from Al Thornton that was called goaltending, and the Pistons escaped L.A. with an 88-87 victory over the short-handed Clippers.

L.A. started this game with just nine healthy players, and finished it with just eight. They were without Baron Davis, Zach Randolph, Chrs Kaman, Mike Taylor, Ricky Davis, and Jason Hart going in, and lost Fred Jones in the first quarter to a sprained right foot. Mike Dunleavyseemed incredulous that yet another of the team's guards could go down with an injury.

"I can't believe we lost another point guard early to start the game," Coach Mike Dunleavy said. "But I thought the guys that we had that played for us did a great job."

It's hard to argue with that, coach. The undermanned Clippers gave the Pistons all they could handle, before succumbing in the final seconds. Eric Gordon led the way for the Clips, posting a career high 31 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter and two clutch baskets down the stretch. Marcus Camby continued his dominance on the glass by grabbing 20 rebounds; he's averaging that many over his last four games.

The Pistons were a bit short-handed themselves, playing without Rasheed Wallace and Rip Hamilton, who were out with injuries. But Iverson's two late scores propelled Detroit to their seventh straight win, while at the same time sending the Clippers to their seventh straight loss. Gordon's game was a huge bright spot, as was the fact that the team was literally a goaltending call away from leaving with the victory. But until they can get some semblance of their regular rotation guys back in the lineup, it appears that the team will have to be satisfied with moral victories like these ones for now.

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