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Clippers Tie NBA's Worst Start


Another game, another loss for the hapless Los Angeles Clippers, who tied the NBA record for futility at the start of a season on Wednesday night.

Shaquille O'Neal had 31 points and 13 rebounds as the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers rolled to a 94-75 victory over the winless Clippers, who lost their 17th straight game.

Thus the Clippers tied the record set by the Miami Heat, who lost their first 17 games of the 1988-89 season.

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  • The Clippers can set the record Thursday night when they face the Sacramento Kings at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in their third game in as many nights.

    The Lakers had only 10 players in uniform because of the blockbuster trade they made earlier in the day when they sent Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell to the Charlotte Hornets for Glen Rice, J.R. Reid and B.J. Armstrong. Armstrong was waived within hours.

    And they had only nine for the final 19½ minutes after Dennis Rodman was ejected with 7:28 left in the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul while sitting on the floor in front of the Lakers' bench.

    Joe Crawford made the call for Rodman's first ejection since he joined the Lakers two weeks ago. Rodman had six rebounds in 17 first-half minutes.

    Still, the Lakers (15-6) won their ninth straight game since coach Del Harris was fired and raised their record to 8-0 with Kurt Rambis as head coach.

    Shortly after Rodman was ejected, the Lakers went on an 18-4 run to turn a 52-47 deficit into a 65-56 lead with 45 seconds left in the third period.

    The Lakers then otscored the Clippers 10-2 to start the fourth quarter to make it 75-61, and wound up outscoring the Clippers 29-16 in the final period.

    Rick Fox added 15 points and Robert Horry scored 13 for the Lakers.

    Lamond Murray scored 21 points and Maurice Taylor added 15 for the Clippers.

    The Clippers, who lost to the Lakers 103-99 on Tuesday night, took a 12-3 after six turnovers by the Lakers.

    The poor play angered fans , who began an "Ed-die, Ed-die" chant, a popular refrain when Jones did something flashy, something they won't see again at the Forum this season.

    The Lakers then went on a 15-4 run to take an 18-16 lead entering the second quarter, but Lakers missed their first 12 shots of the period while the Clippers scored 13 straight points for a 29-18 lead.

    O'Neal's follow shot with 6:29 left before halftime accounted for his team's first points of the second quarter and triggered a 13-0 run that put the Lakers ahead by two points.

    The Lakers led at halftime 35-34, and the crowd booed as the teams left the floor.

    Notes

    • The game was played before a crowd of 17,505 -- the ninth sellout in 11 Lakers home games this season.
    • The Clippers placed starting point guard Sherman Douglas (strained left groin) and rookie forward Brian Skinner (strained left knee) on the injured list. As roster replacements, they activated rookie Michael Olowokandi and Pooh Richardson .
    • The Lakers have beaten the Clippers nine straight times, including all four games between the teams this season.
    • Rambis is one win away from Buddy Jeannette's NBA record of nine wins to start a coaching career. Jeannette accomplished the feat in 1947. Larry Brown coached Denver to eight straight wins in 1976 to start his NBA coaching career.
    • Rice and Reid are expected to play their first games for the Lakers on Friday night against Golden State.

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