Cassell scores 35 as Clippers win, lose Mobley, Patterson
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Somehow, the Los Angeles Clippers keep winning.
Already missing Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston because of injuries, the Clippers lost top scorer Cuttino Mobley and reserve Ruben Patterson in the first quarter Wednesday night against the Indiana Pacers.
Even without all those players, the Clipper still have Sam Cassell. He scored 35 points to lead the Clippers to a 104-89 win over the Pacers in a matchup of unbeaten teams.
Cassell, within two weeks of his 38th birthday, made 13 of 20 shots to tie his highest point total since he joined the Clippers in 2005.
"He's older than dirt, but he gets it done," Clippers center Chris Kaman joked. "He can still shoot the basketball."
Cassell sent a message to those who wonder if his skills have diminished.
"You think I can't do it? Just sit back and watch," he said. "These guys on my team know I can play, I just happen to be 37 years old."
Kaman did his share, adding 15 points and 22 rebounds for the Clippers (4-0). His rebound total was the highest of any player in the league so far this season.
"I try to take advantage of the opportunities I'm given," Kaman said. "I know what I've got to do. I'm no Elton Brand -- I don't have that game. I just wanted to try to help fill in where he's missing."
Mobley left the game in the first quarter holding his right groin. Patterson re-injured a dislocated right pinkie finger and later returned to the bench in street clothes.
None of that mattered Wednesday.
"Collectively as a group, we go into each and every game the underdog," Cassell said. "If you don't play hard against us, we will beat you."
Danny Granger led Indiana with 16 points in his first game since being named Eastern Conference player of the week. Mike Dunleavy added 15 points and Jermaine O'Neal had 13 for the Pacers (3-1).
Kaman helped the Clippers outrebound the Pacers 53-40.
"I think defensive rebounding is every person's job, and I don't think we did a very good job of coming from the perimeter and getting involved," O'Brien said.
Indiana shot just 10-for-37 in the second half and scored 31 points.
"I thought we had a lot of great looks at the basket, we just missed shots tonight," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "I don't think our shot selection was necessarily bad, it was just a night where we did not put the ball in the basket, and it allowed them to beat us up on the backboards."
The Clippers also outscored the Pacers 28-19 from the free-throw line.
Indiana went on an 18-2 run from late in the first quarter to early in the second to take a 30-24 lead. The Pacers led 58-55 at halftime.
The Clippers had a 68-67 advantage in the third quarter before going on a 14-0 run that included seven points by Cassell. Los Angeles held the Pacers to 5-for-21 shooting in the quarter to lead 87-72 at the end of the period.
A jumper by Indiana forward Jeff Foster and a free throw by Granger cut the Clippers' lead to 11 with 7:03 left. Los Angeles answered with a bucket by Cassell and a 3-pointer by Tim Thomas to push the lead to 95-79.
The Clippers led by as many as 21 points in the final quarter.
For the first time this season, the Pacers looked sluggish. Foster said it was just an off night.
"It happens to everybody in the NBA," he said. "You're going to have your cold shooting nights, and we couldn't get the offensive rebounds to have second possessions."
The Clippers hope to build on Wednesday's win.
"In training camp, our motto was 'Believe,'" Corey Maggette said. "We've gotten off to a great start, and we just have to keep it up."
Pacers F Shawne Williams played for the first time after serving a team-imposed three-game suspension for driving without a license. He finished with four points, four rebounds and three assists in 15 minutes. ... Pacers C Troy Murphy played for the first time this season. He entered with 5:23 left in the first quarter after sitting out the first three games with a sore left Achilles tendon. He had 10 points and four rebounds. ... Even without Mobley, Los Angeles' starters outscored Indiana's 85-57. ... Mobley finished with two points in five minutes, and Patterson did not score in four minutes.
Regular Season Series
LAC lead 1-0
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2022-23 Pacific Standings