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CLIPPERS NOTEBOOK: ANDERSON'S CONDITION SPELLS TROUBLE.

Byline: Randy Hill Staff Writer

Clippers history reminds us the alphabet is responsible for such franchise terrors as A-C-L (anterior cruciate ligament) damage and B-S (bad shooting) sickness. Not to be trifled with is S-T-E-R-L-I-N-G, which spells doom.

The latest Clip letter bomb is a new one on us . . . F-M-I. It stands for Face Muscle Inflammation.

The victim is shooting guard Derek Anderson, whose status for tonight's game with Phoenix at Staples Center is listed as day to day. According to trainer Jasen Powell, Anderson's response to a medication change will determine his availability.

What previously was believed to be a lingering sinus infection matured into great discomfort for Anderson during Saturday's loss to Portland. After scoring 52 points in his first two games back from a concussion-related three-game absence, Anderson was limited to 29 minutes and six points. He's missed the past two days of practice and, regardless of how he handles the new medication, figures to be far below peak efficiency if his condition improves.

``I don't assume anything until I get the report back from the doctor,'' said Clippers coach Chris Ford, who has been forced to wear out that sentiment in the past two weeks. Eric Piatkowski figures to start at shooting guard, with Tyrone Nesby as the sixth man.

The good karma is represented by Maurice Taylor, who appears to be playing without pain after missing two weeks with a foot sprain.

``He's ready to play . . . mentally,'' Ford said. ``We'll see how he is after a couple of trips up and down the court.''

Taylor will march into the starting lineup, with Brian Skinner, who was heroic in Taylor's absence, going back to his role of low-post sub.

Good, bad numbers: The good number is 11 - that's how many Clippers suited up for Monday's practice at Veterans Park SportsComplex in Carson.

``That's two days in a row we've had enough guys to scrimmage,'' said Ford, whose team hadn't been in that predicament for two weeks.

The two-day streak includes participation from point guard Eric Murdock; the crafty veteran did provide a few swell moments on the team's five-game road swing, but chronic knee pain has limited his contributions.

The bad number is 32.9, the team's field-goal percentage in Saturday's loss to Portland. After all the strategic dress rehearsals, medical reports and psychological hang-ups are examined, Ford believes the scoreboard dilemma can be traced to marksmanship.

``We still have to shoot the ball much better,'' he said. ``You can't shoot 41 percent and win a lot of games.

CLIPPERS vs. PHOENIX

Tipoff: 7:30 p.m., at Staples Center

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Net 2; XTRA-AM (1150)

Clippers (4-9) update: The team is coming off a rough 88-71 loss to Portland on Saturday, when the Clippers shot 32 percent from the floor and came within three points of tying their franchise-low in points scored. The good news: starting forward Maurice Taylor is expected to return to the lineup after missing seven games with a sprained foot.

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Box: CLIPPERS vs. PHOENIX (See text)
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 30, 1999
Words:510
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