Zach Randolph made his long awaited debut for the Clippers, and Marcus Camby faced his former team for the first time. But neither player was able to make the most of their respective situations, as the Clippers dropped a close one to Denver, 106-105.
Before Randolph arrived, there was talk of too much talent in the frontcourt, what with he, Camby, Chris Kaman, and Al Thornton all vying for minutes. That wasn't a worry tonight though, as Kaman left after the first quarter with a strained left arch, leaving 26 minutes for Randolph to show what he could do. Unfortunately, since he hadn't played in about a week, it wasn't much: he finished with just seven points and four rebounds on 3-11 shooting. Predictably, he was less than pleased.
"I didn't play good tonight," Randolph said. "I didn't play my game. . . . I was indecisive."
Marcus Camby played pretty well against his former team, and finished with 17 and 11 in 38 minutes. He even had a chance to hit the game-winner, but his three-point attempt from straight away at the buzzer didn't go down.
A big positive for the Clippers, despite losing for the 13th time in 15 tries this season, was the continued strong play of rookie Eric Gordon. Gordon started for the second straight game, and led the team in scoring with 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting.
It appears that the Clippers are getting better, as they've been competitive in recent games, while at the same time getting healthy and seeing a rookie become a big time producer for them in their last two outings. Once Randolph gets familiar with his new surroundings, the wins should begin to follow; possibly as soon as this Saturday when L.A. will host a depleted Heat team that lost by 38 tonight in Portland.