Walton Gives Clippers a Different Look

November 29, 1984
Center Bill Walton, working his way back into the lineup after yet another ailment, was welcomed addition to the Los Angeles Clippers' starting lineup.

"With (James) Donaldson coming off the bench for Walton that gives us a good one-two punch," said Clippers Coach Jim Lynam.

Walton started for the first time since Dec. 4, 1983, Wednesday night and proved a pivotal ingredient in the Clippers' 106-90 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics. 

Seattle Coach Lenny Wilkens thinks Walton gives the Clippers a different look.

"With Bill in there they run a little differently but not that much," said Wilkens. "I personally feel that Bill makes them a better team when he starts because he does so many things well. He gets the other four guys involved right away."

Against the Sonics, Walton made the difference on defense for the Clippers.

"They played a pretty good defense on us," said Seattle's Tom Chambers, a former Clipper. "Bill was intimidating people in the middle and they were pressuring us out."

Walton contributed eight points and 12 rebounds in 27 minutes Wednesday night.

"Bill has been feeling better and hopefully he will be playing 30 minutes soon," said Lynam.

Chambers felt the Clippers took the Sonics out of their game plan.

"I don't think we had a great shot selection," he said. "We were taking a lot of jumpers and we're not a team that wins by the jumper. We're a team that goes inside and breaks a little bit, so we weren't going to our strength."

Center Jack Sikma scored a season-high 29 points to lead Seattle. Gerald Henderson, with 10 points, was the only other Sonic in double-figures.

Seattle made 37-of-84 from the field and Henderson felt the Clippers' defense inside made the difference.

"You can't explain guys shooting 40 percent from the field unless of course we are taking bad shots or we are not in synch with our offense," he said. "They play really big inside and when you drive to the basket you have to look for these guys. Our team is not as big and strong as their's and that was a factor tonight."

For Los Angeles, Derek Smith led the way with 21 points and Junior Bridgeman came off the bench to add 17.

A hot second quarter made the difference for the Clippers, who opened a 54-44 halftime edge by connecting on 14 of 23 shots (61 percent) from the floor. The Sonics could only make 9-of-22 (41 percent) during the period.

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