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Sunday, March 26, 2006 


In Aladdin -- the best movie of 1992, the summit of modern Disney animation and maybe the only decent Robin Williams picture -- the evil Jafar tells Aladdin, "If you do not bow before a sultan, then you will cower before a sorcerer!" Yesterday afternoon at Staples Center, it was the Washington Wizards who cowered and the Clippers who powered to a dominating 116-101 victory. They become the first Clippers to reach 40 wins since Larry Brown led the 1992-93 Clips to a 41-41 record.

Behind monster games by Elton Brand (32 points, 9 rebounds on 12-19 FGs) and Sam Cassell (26 points, 8 assists on 10-15 FGs) and Chris Kaman's triumphant return to form (21 points, 13 rebounds on 8-14 FGs), the Clips led by 12 after one quarter, by 16 at halftime, and by as many as 25 early in the fourth. They raise their home record to 24-10 and, with a win in Portland this evening, could bump their RW-HL number up to an impressive +7.

The Good: Quinton Ross held Washington All-Star Gilbert Arenas to 17 points on 5-16 shooting as the Wiz' league-leading triumvirate of Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison scored almost 20 points under their combined average for the season...In his first start since December, Corey Maggette contributed 19 points, five rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes...The Clips outshot the Wizards 51.3% to 41.1% and canned twice as many free throws (LAC 36-42, WAS 18-28)...The Clips recorded more rebounds, assists, blocks and steals and kept their turnovers to a livable 15.

The Bad: With Vladimir Radmanovic mired in a mini-slump, Los Angeles made just 2-11 3FGs; fortunately, Washington hit just 5-24...The Wizards killed the Clips on the offensive glass, 19-10, and in bench scoring, 34-11...Cuttino Mobley missed his first game of the season with a sprained ankle and will likely sit out tonight's tilt with the Trail Blazers.

The Ugly: Whatever your take on Maggette's complaints to reporters about not starting on the recent road trip, only our boy Maggs could airball two consecutive three-pointers and give up a four-point play within a matter of minutes...The Clippers did nothing to warn fans what a logistical nightmare downtown would present. We followed a series of handwritten arrows down a labyrinth of alleys to where a guy wearing an armband took $25 and moved his Toyota Tercel to make room for us.

Click on Clipper Talk and join the discussion. -- Jordan

I think the best way to access Staples is to use the Red Line. For instance, you can park at the North Hollywood lot and take the Red Line to within two blocks of Staples Center. It takes about twenty minutes and costs 2.50.

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