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It's Getting Ugly at STAPLES Center

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Photo by Paul!!! via Flickr
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In New Orleans the nation watched as the Saints performed an offensive clinic in the second half dispatching the Detroit Lions 45-28 in the wild card round of the NFL Playoffs. That offensive mojo obviously did not visit the STAPLES Center today with the Kings losing in regulation for the first time in the Darryl Sutter era 1-0 to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets and the Clippers edged the Milwaukee Bucks 92-86.

The Kings had eight power-plays for 13:36 and scored zero, zilch, nada against the second-worst penalty killing team in the league despite getting in 12 shots on the 5-on-4 and four shots on the 5-on-3 advantages.

“We’re working on it, but it doesn’t really make a difference,” Dustin Brown told reporters after the game about the power-play woes. “We have to find ways to score goals.”

After the game the STAPLES Center crew covered up the ice, rearranged the seating configuration and set up the hardwood for the Clippers. For the first half, it seemed as if the chill from the ice below was seeping through the seams of the hardwood. The Bucks had a 40-38 lead in what could more accurately be described as Nod City as Caron Butler admitted after the game the Clippers underestimated the depleted Bucks..

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Thankfully the Clippers woke up in the third quarter holding the Bucks to 35% shooting while breaking out with 34 points. While the Bucks cut what was a 13-point lead to single digits by the end, the Clippers were able to withstand any surge from the kids from Milwaukee.

The game saw the debut of big man Reggie Evans in a Clipper uniform. While his three points didn’t seem like much, the six rebounds he grabbed in 18 minutes, two on the offensive boards, helped reinforce the Clippers’ depth down low. Blake Griffin and his high-flying act led all scorers with 22 points and 14 rebounds while Butler had a 20-point effort, his best as a Clipper, while Chauncey Billups added 19 points on 5-for-14 shooting.

Meanwhile in Anaheim where the winning has been scarce over the last few months, the UCLA men’s basketball team actually swept the Arizona schools this week culminating in their 75-58 victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils. In local Big West action, LMU beat San Diego 79-68, the Anteaters of Irvine beat the cow-tipping Aggies of Davis 70-55, Cal Poly edged Cal State Fullerton 73-67 and Long Beach State beat the Matadors of the valley CSUN 81-68.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

Memphis Grizzlies at LA Lakers. 6:30 p.m. FSWest, AM 710 KSPN.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Anaheim Ducks. 5:00 p.m. FS Prime Ticket, AM 830 KLAA.
Arizona Wildcats at USC Trojans. 2:30 p.m. FS Prime Ticket, AM 710 KSPN.

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NFL Playoff Schedule
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants. 10:00 a.m. Fox, AM 570 KLAC.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos. 1:30 p.m. CBS, AM 570 KLAC.