A triple-double from Doron Perkins proved not enough for Maccabi Tel Aviv as it surrendered to the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers 108-96 Tuesday night at an exhibition game at Staples Center. The former University of Santa Clara star had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the visitors.
This was the second of Maccabi's two preseason games against NBA teams. It lost 106-91 to the New York Knicks on Sunday. Chuck Eidson, who played at South Carolina, led Maccabi scorers with 18.
Maccabi coach Pini Gershon caused a stir in New York when he was ejected after receiving a second technical foul in the third quarter. He refused to leave the court at Madison Square Garden for almost 8 minutes. On Tuesday, the colorful Gershon spoke frequently to the replacement officials, but without incident.
Before the game's start, there was a moment of silence for former Maccabi executive Moni Fanan, who Jerusalem police said hanged himself at his home on Monday. Fanan, 63, managed the club for 16 seasons and won 15 Israel League titles before stepping down a year ago after clashing with team officials.
The game was tied 42-42 with 4 minutes to play in the first half when the Clippers went on a 25-7 run. The Clippers shot 54.5 percent (42 of 77) from the field, while holding Maccabi to 43.7 percent shooting (38 of 87).
Chris Kaman scored 18 points and Sebastian Telfair added 15 for Los Angeles. Blake Griffin, the No. 1 overall draft pick, was 6 of 7 from the field with 13 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. It was the first start, and only the second game, this preseason for Telfair, who had been bothered by a sore hamstring.
The Clippers played Tuesday without center Marcus Camby (sprained ankle) and forward Al Thornton (sore elbow). It was the fourth consecutive game Camby has missed, the third because of the sore ankle.
Casspi king of Kings in Phoenix loss
Meanwhile, Omri Casspi led all Sacramento scorers - and registered his highest-scoring game yet - in the Kings' 143-127 away loss to the Phoenix Suns. The small forward was 4-for-5 from three-point range, and had 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal in his 24 minutes.
Casspi, trying to become the first Israeli player to make an NBA regular-season roster, launched a desperation 34-foot bank shot just before the halftime buzzer, his third 3-pointer of the second quarter, to give the Kings a 68-67 lead.
The home team rallied in the fourth to pocket an unusually high-scoring game marked by poor defense on both sides.
Before the game, Casspi asked team management if he could sport a black armband in remembrance of Fanan, but was told NBA regulations prohibited it.
On Monday, he told the Sacramento Bee newspaper, "I know him very well. His kids are my best friends. I've known him since I was 13 years old - he's legendary, I love him. He was one of my closest friends. It's very sad to me, a big surprise. I don't know what to say."
"This is the hardest thing when playing outside your country," Casspi said.
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