Double Dribble

An NBA blog from Newsday's Bobby Bonett

Flashback: Clippers end 30-year drought

The Los Angeles Clippers' Cuttino Mobley, left, shakes

The Los Angeles Clippers' Cuttino Mobley, left, shakes hand with actor Billy Crystal after their 101-83 win against the Denver Nuggets during game five of the first round at the NBA Western Conference Playoffs. (May 1, 2006) (Credit: AP)

Day 3 of our 30-team NBA playoff flashback profiles the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers franchise has never won an NBA title, and has four playoff appearances in the last 20 years.

Date: May 1, 2006

Situation: The Clippers lead the Nuggets 3-1 heading into Game 5 of the first round of the 2006 Western Conference playoffs.

Context: Since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1984-85 season, the Clippers were winless in postseason series, eliminated in the first round in 1992, ‘93 and ‘97. Coming off the second-winningest season in franchise history (47-35), though, the No. 6 seed Clippers jumped out to a 3-1 series lead against the Northwest Division champion Nuggets. Los Angeles had just defeated Denver on the road, 100-86, and was back at the Staples Center for Game 5, where they went 27-14 in the regular season.

Recap: After falling behind by two in the first quarter, the Clippers went to work. Los Angeles outscored Denver 50-34 in the second and third quarters to take command, before cruising through the fourth quarter for the win. Los Angeles was lights out from the field, shooting 50 percent from the floor and 89 percent (24-for-27) from the line. Los Angeles won, 101-83.

Top players: Cuttino Mobley and Corey Maggette led the scoring attack for Los Angeles with 23 points apiece. Elton Brand added a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Shaun Livingston finished with a game-high 14 assists off the bench. Carmelo Anthony was held to 23 points on just 8-for-24 shooting.

After the game: After the game, Cuttino Mobley and Sam Cassell spoke about the importance of putting the first round series behind the team, and focusing on advancing further in the playoffs. They proceeded to go the distance in a thrilling series against the Suns. Two of the league’s best offensive teams, the Clippers scored at least 100 points in six of the seven games, and the Suns topped the century mark five times. After dropping Game 5 in double overtime, 125-118, to fall behind 3-2, the Clippers fought back to win 118-106 in Game 6. On the road for Game 7 in Phoenix, though, Los Angeles never threatened, falling to Shawn Marion (30 points), Steve Nash (29 points) and the Phoenix Suns, 127-107.

Check back tomorrow for the Hornets.

You can view the whole series back clicking the "Flashback" tag below.

Tags: flashback , Los Angeles Clippers , Denver Nuggets

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