Clippers' Dunleavy out as coach
LOS ANGELES — Mike Dunleavy stepped down as the Los Angeles Clippers' head coach yesterday, retaining his job as general manager.
Assistant coach Kim Hughes will be the interim replacement for Dunleavy, who has led the Clippers to just one winning season since taking over the star-crossed franchise in 2003.
The Clippers abruptly announced the moves in an afternoon news release, saying the decision was voluntary and mutual. Los Angeles (21-28) has lost five of six heading into tomorrow's home game against San Antonio.
"It just seems clear that the team needs a fresh voice, and we hope that our players will respond in a positive way," Clippers president Andy Roeser said in a statement.
Despite a talented roster including Baron Davis, Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon and Marcus Camby, the Clippers are in 12th place in the Western Conference. Los Angeles dropped a season-worst seven games under .500 with six losses on a just-completed eight-game road trip.
CAVALIERS 102, HEAT 86
LeBron James scored 36 points — 17 on free throws — and Daniel Gibson added 12 after returning from the hospital as host Cleveland routed Miami for its 10th straight victory.
Gibson left before the game to be with his pregnant fiancee, singer Keyshia Cole. Gibson returned to Quicken Loans Arena in the second quarter.
TRAIL BLAZERS 96, SPURS 93
LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and 13 rebounds, and host Portland rallied from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat San Antonio and sweep the three-game season series.
Aldridge hit a jumper with 2:54 left to give the Blazers the lead for good, 88-86, and Martell Webster hit a 3 to make it 91-87 with 22.9 seconds to go.
OVER AND BACK
Celtics: Boston scoring leader Paul Pierce hopes to return from an injured left foot Sunday against the Orlando Magic. He got hurt in Monday's win at Washington.
Lakers: Kobe Bryant skipped Los Angeles' practice yesterday to rest his sore left ankle. The Lakers will wait until game time tonight to decide whether Bryant will play against the Denver Nuggets.
Hornets: New Orleans all-star point guard Chris Paul will be out four to six weeks after having arthroscopic knee surgery. He is averaging a team-high 20.4 points and an NBA-best 11.2 assists.