Walton Still Showing Flashes of Brilliance

December 6, 1984
Bill Walton doesn't score like he used to, but in the final moments of the Los Angeles Clippers'game against the Dallas Mavericks he sent out a reminder he was once the game's elite center.

Walton, 32, tipped in a pair of misses by teammate Derek Smith in the final 32 seconds to give the Clippers a 110-106 victory Wednesday night.

Walton finished the game with 13 points, and the trips up and down the court take a little longer. But the 6-foot-11 center still has a flair for the unexpected. 

Walton said that on his second tip-in the ball "looked as big as a car. I could see all the seams on it."

That shot gave the Clippers a four-point lead with seven seconds left and their second straight victory.

"He was one of the all-time great centers," said the Clipper's Norm Nixon, referring to Walton'spre-injury glory days. "And he's just now starting to play again. He's more healthy than I've ever seen him."

Nixon had a healthy game of his own, hitting a season-high 29 points including six straight shots during the fourth quarter when Los Angeles was fighting off a Maverick comeback attempt.

"We were all over Nixon," said Rolando Blackman, who led the 9-10 Mavericks with 25 points. "We'd have our hands in his face and he still made his shots. It was an incredible performance."

Nixon's fifth straight basket in the fourth quarter was a three pointer that gave Los Angeles, 8-13, some breathing room. His sixth was a 15-footer that pushed the lead to six with 4:24 left.

"I wanted to rest him," said Los Angeles Coach Jim Lynam. "But he had it going. I kept waiting for his shot to be short, but it was nothing but net."

Lynam was delighted to get the final two baskets from Walton, but said scoring is not the reason the former UCLA great was on the floor at the game.

"It's more his presence out there," said Lynam. "He can do so many things, like block a shot, get a rebound, start a fast break or follow up a shot. He's so talented that good things seem to happen around him."

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