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Clippers notch preseason win vs. Suns

Clippers' Dan Dickou drives past Phoenix's Brian Skinner during their preseason game. Dickau is playing for his seventh NBA team in six seasons.
Clippers' Dan Dickou drives past Phoenix's Brian Skinner during their preseason game. Dickau is playing for his seventh NBA team in six seasons.
Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

Rookie Al Thornton scored 23 points and Corey Maggette added 19, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 110-103 preseason victory over the visiting Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.

Six Clippers scored in double digits. Cuttino Mobley, in his preseason debut after missing the first four games because of a strained left calf, was 0-for-3 from the field in 16 minutes.

Grant Hill led the Suns with 17 points, while Steve Nash had 11 points and six assists. Boris Diaw, starting at center while Amare Stoudemire recovers from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, had seven points and three rebounds in 27 minutes.

Marcus Banks scored 13 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead a furious comeback that just fell short.

Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy rested his starters the entire fourth quarter, and the reserves were overwhelmed by the Suns' bench players down the stretch. Trailing by as many as 23 early in the fourth, Phoenix narrowed the gap to 104-93 with 5:39 to play. Banks helped fuel the 22-7 run with nine points in a 2:39 span and Richie Frahm capped it with two free throws and a pair of 3-pointers.

The Suns got as close as 106-103 on Alondo Tucker's 3-pointer with 1:10 left. But the Clippers sealed the victory with two free throws by Josh Powell and a layup by Dan Dickau in the final 57 seconds.

The first two players off the Phoenix bench each picked up four fouls during the first 15 minutes of the game. Backup center Sean Marks got all of his during a 3:16 span of the opening quarter. Leandro Barbosa, the NBA's sixth man of the year last season, got his fourth with 9:02 left in the half and the Suns trailing 42-36.

Moments after Barbosa left the court with his fourth foul, the Clippers went on a 21-6 run that extended a five-point lead to 65-45 with 1:17 left in the second quarter.

Thornton, the 14th overall pick in the June draft, paced Los Angeles to a 67-51 lead at halftime with 16 points.

Los Angeles took a 35-29 lead on Dickau's four-point play with 11.5 seconds left in the first quarter. He drained a 3-pointer right in front of the Clippers' bench while getting hammered by Barbosa, then got up and sank the free throw.

Dickau, the former Gonzaga star, is playing for his seventh NBA team in six seasons — not counting the New York Knicks, who acquired him in a draft-day trade from Portland and waived him on Oct. 2 after completing a buyout of his contract.

LAKERS 113, BOBCATS 93: At Los Angeles, Vladimir Radmanovic scored 14 points and the rest of the Lakers' bench also made a sizable contribution.

Kobe Bryant had six points and four assists in 21 minutes and did not play in the fourth quarter after the Lakers built a 23-point lead. Luke Walton had 10 assists.

Derek Fisher was back in a Lakers uniform in front of the home crowd at Staples Center for the first time since Game 2 of the 2004 NBA finals, when Los Angeles beat Detroit 99-91 for its only victory of the series.

The 12-year veteran, who spent his first eight NBA seasons with the Lakers and helped them win three championships, received a warm reception from the fans during the introductions and scored 13 of the Lakers' first 22 points to help them take a 12-point lead. He played only nine minutes and sat out the final three quarters.

SPURS 104, PISTONS 80: At San Antonio, Brent Barry scored 16 points. Francisco Elson had 14 points and Tim Duncan added 13 for the Spurs.

Rookie Arron Afflalo led Detroit with 20 points. Rodney Stuckey scored 14 and Jason Maxiell added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Tony Parker, who hadn't played this preseason, joined Duncan, who sat out the Spurs' last game, on the court. He finished with seven points.

But with both teams sitting a few of their stars, the preseason meeting between the reigning champion Spurs and former champion Pistons was a bit anticlimactic. For the Spurs, Manu Ginobili, Bruce Bowen and Michael Finley took the night off. So did coach Gregg Popovich, who for the second game in a row handed the reins to assistant coach Mike Budenholzer.

Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups didn't play the second game of the Pistons' back-to-back, and an injured Richard Hamilton was out for a third straight contest with a sprained left ankle.

BUCKS 106, TIMBERWOLVES 97: At Milwaukee, Mo Williams had 20 points and 12 assists. Michael Redd added 18 points, Andrew Bogut and rookie forward Yi Jianlian each had 15 and Bobby Simmons 10 in what could be a preview of Milwaukee's starting lineup.

Yi, the sixth overall selection in the 2007 NBA draft, had his best game so far. In 28 minutes, he was 6-of-9 from the floor and grabbed 12 rebounds in his third start for the Bucks (3-2).

Rookie forward Corey Brewer led Minnesota (2-4) with 27 points, Al Jefferson added 21, and Marko Jaric 14.

Brewer, taken one pick after Yi, made his second start for the Timberwolves. He shot 10-of-15 and had six assists in his best preseason outing.

MAGIC 100, CAVALIERS 84: At Macau, China, Dwight Howard scored 17 points to help the Orlando Magic sweep a two-game preseason series between the NBA teams in China.

Howard and Cavaliers star LeBron James both sat out the fourth quarter. James and Larry Hughes led Cleveland with 14 points.

The Magic beat the Cavaliers 90-86 on Wednesday in Shanghai. On Thursday, Orlando defeated a team of Chinese All-Stars 116-92 in Macau at the new arena at the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel. Macau is a Chinese casino city known as Asia's Las Vegas.

GRIZZLIES 104, HEAT 98: At Memphis, Tenn., Rudy Gay scored 22 points and Stromile Swift added 16 as the Memphis Grizzlies beat short-handed Miam.

Gay made all six shots from the field, five of them from outside the arc. Mike Miller and Juan Carlos Navarro scored 11 apiece for Memphis, though the two long-range shooters were a combined 7-of-22 from the field.

Brian Chase, the rookie from Virginia Tech, led the depleted Heat with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field. Jeremy Richardson scored 15, while Jason Williams finished with 11, the only Miami starter in double figures.

Miami is winless in six preseason games.

The game was an opportunity for players on the bubble to get extended playing time because of injuries to top players on both teams. Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning were among five Heat players who didn't travel. Smush Parker traveled but had flulike symptoms, while Antoine Walker was available, but never got in the game.

Miami coach Pat Riley made a conscious effort to give minutes to younger players, such as rookie Joel Anthony with 30 minutes, Chase with 28 and Richardson with 27.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies were without leading scorer and rebounder Pau Gasol, who is recovering from a left ankle sprain that will keep him out at least two games.

76ERS 96, CELTICS 78: At Uncasville, Conn., with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett dressed in suits on the bench, the Boston Celtics lost for the first time in four preseason games.

Jason Smith had 16 points, while Andre Iguodala, Rodney Carney and Willie Green added 14 to lead the 76ers (1-4) in the game played at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Ray Allen, a former Connecticut standout, scored 16 points for the Celtics (3-1) and James Posey added 12 points.

Boston coach Doc Rivers rested stars Pierce and Garnett with back-to-back exhibition games against New York and New Jersey scheduled on Monday and Tuesday.

With the Celtics trailing by 10 at halftime, Allen scored five straight points to spark a 16-4 run to open the second half. Brian Scalabrine hit two shots in a row from the corner and Rajon Rondo converted a short jumper to put the Celtics ahead 56-54 with 6:57 remaining in the third quarter.

BULLS 100, PACERS 88: At Chicago, Andres Nocioni scored 20 points to lead Chicago. Tyrus Thomas added 15 points and seven rebounds. But this was Nocioni's night.

He appears to be in form after being hobbled by plantar fasciitis in his right foot, which caused him to miss 28 of 29 games down the stretch and limited him in the playoffs last season.

Nocioni was 4-of-5 on 3-pointers and 7-of-9 overall. He scored 13 in the first half and led the way as the Bulls increased their lead from 10 at the break to 75-55 with four minutes left in the third quarter.

The Pacers rallied against the Bulls' reserves in the fourth quarter, pulling within seven, but Chicago prevailed.

Mike Dunleavy, who left Friday's game against Minnesota after getting poked in the right eye, scored 18 points. Shawne Williams led Indiana with 22, and Danny Granger added 17.

Both teams were without their best players.

The Pacers' Jermaine O'Neal missed his second game with a hyperextended left knee, while the Bulls were without Luol Deng and Ben Gordon.

O'Neal hopes to play Tuesday at Minnesota.

Gordon has missed all five preseason games with a sprained left ankle while Deng sat out after bruising his right hand the previous night at Toronto. He might miss Tuesday's game at Dallas, but he expects to be ready for the preseason finale against Milwaukee on Thursday.

ROCKETS 117, SONICS 94: At Seattle, Tracy McGrady scored 30 points, and the Houston Rockets spoiled Kevin Durant's home debut.

McGrady, entering his 11th NBA season, was 10-of-20 from the floor and made all nine free throws. McGrady, who did not play the final 17 minutes, had seen limited time during the preseason because of a sore knee.

Shane Battier added 19 points.

Durant, the No. 2 pick out of Texas who was averaging 16.8 points in his first four exhibition games, finished with 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting. Delonte West, scoring 12 second-period points, finished with 22. Center Robert Swift had 10 points.