Oden, the only player to appear in all six of Portland's exhibition games, is averaging 11.5 points and 7.8 boards. The 7-foot center from Ohio State was the first overall pick in the June 2007 draft, but missed all of last season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee.
Al Thornton had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Clippers. Steve Novak scored nine points, going 3-for-4 from 3-point range. All 29 of his field goal attempts during the preseason have been from behind the arc, and he has made 14 of them.
The Clippers opened the third quarter with an 11-0 run capped by Thornton's layup, slicing a 39-26 halftime deficit to 39-37 with 7:51 left in the period. But the Blazers maintained the lead the rest of the way, building it to 61-49 by end of the quarter.
Travis Outlaw and Jerryd Bayless led the way in the fourth. Outlaw scored all of his nine points in the final 9:13 after missing his first six shots, and Bayless contributed eight of his 12 points down the stretch. Los Angeles got no closer than 12 in the final quarter after Rudy Fernandez hit a 3-pointer to give Portland its biggest lead, 77-60, with 7:58 to play.
The Clippers went 6 minutes, 25 seconds between field goals in the first half, missing nine consecutive shots and committing six turnovers during a 10-0 Portland run. They didn't even reach the 20-point mark until 4:08 remained in the second quarter, when Cuttino Mobley's 14-footer trimmed the Blazers' lead to 33-20.
The gang that couldn't shoot straight was missing four of its main players, including Ricky Davis, who got the night off. Baron Davis is nursing a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left ring finger, Marcus Camby has a bruised right heel and Tim Thomas was sidelined with a groin strain.
The Blazers end their preseason schedule Thursday night at Utah before their season opener on Oct. 28, when they host the Western Conference champion Lakers. The Clippers face the Lakers one night later in their season opener, but first they will conclude their exhibition slate Friday night at home against Denver.
- Joe Forte
- Bennie Adams
- Eric Dalen