Venue Changes, Story Remains the Same for Clippers

The Clippers and the Suns are two teams headed in opposite directions at the moment, and the timing couldn't have been worse for L.A. to have to face Phoenix on consecutive nights. With the Suns getting a new head coach and their old swagger back, they ran L.A. off the floor for the second straight game, this time by a score of 142-119.

If the 142 points part sounds familiar, it's because the Suns put up 140 on the Clips Tuesday night, on their way to a 40-point victory that was never close. On Wednesday, things were a little closer, but not for very long.

Believe it or not, the Clippers actually led at the end of one, 30-29, behind 14 first quarter points from Al Thornton. He finished with a team-high 33, but the Suns pushed the tempo and flexed their muscle inside, outscoring L.A. by 13 points in the second quarter and 10 in the fourth, on the way to their second lopsided victory in a row.

L.A. came into this one without all of their serviceable big men, as Marcus Camby was still out with the inner ear infection, and Zach Randolph was serving the first of a two-game suspension for punching the Suns' Lou Amundson in the face during Tuesday night's game. With Brian Skinner and Chris Kaman still sidelined by injuries, maybe it's not all that surprising that Amare Stoudemire had a monster night inside. The man they call STAT finished with 42 points on 15-of-20 shooting, and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Commenting before the game on Camby's injury, head coach Mike Dunleavy seemed exasperated by his team's unbelievable bad luck in that department this season.

"We're inventing new ways to get hurt," said Dunleavy. "I mean, in the annals of the league, what's the percentages of one of your players flying on an airplane and his ear drum caves in? I mean, it's like, what other kind of injury can happen?"

Baron Davis made 6-of-14 shots and finished with 14 points and seven assists. While the shooting percentage is a slight improvement for him, playing against the shoot-first, ask-questions-later Suns might have had something to do with that. Davis' name has recently surfaced in trade rumors with the Houston Rockets, but as of Wednesday night it didn't appear that anything was likeley to happen before the Thursday deadline.

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