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April 25, 2014

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Former UNLV standout Amundson hopes to click with Clippers

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers talks with Clipper forward Lou Amundson during the first quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013.

Lou Amundson

New Orleans Hornets power forward Lou Amundson (17) slam dunks in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in New Orleans, Friday, March 29, 2013. Launch slideshow »
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Minnesota Timberwolves' Lou Amundson is shown in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 115-86.

The familiar sounds of “LOUUU” may return when the Los Angeles Clippers take the floor against the Denver Nuggets 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

UNLV alumnus Lou Amundson is battling for a roster spot with the Clippers after signing a nonguaranteed contract in late September, and is expected to see some time on the court.

“It’s going to feel good being back, and it’ll bring back a lot of good memories for me,” the 6-foot-9 forward said. “I’m sure I’ll see a lot of people who I spent time with. It’ll be fun.”

If he makes the Clippers’ 15-man roster, Amundson would be playing for his ninth NBA team in seven seasons in the league.

Even though surrounded by uncertainty about making an NBA roster, Amundson is taking it in stride and staying focused on doing the things he does best.

“I’m thankful for this opportunity,” he said. “I can’t worry about stuff I can’t control. I’m just going out there and playing the best and hardest way I know.”

The latest chapter of Amundson’s basketball journey takes him to Los Angeles, where he is able to play with some of the league’s top big men such as Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

“Those two guys are some of the most athletic bigs in the league,” Amundson said. “It’s amazing seeing their ability to run the floor with and without the ball. … I’ve always tried to pick up something from all my stops.”

Amundson is also getting the luxury of playing for a championship-caliber coach in Doc Rivers, who is in his first season as the Clippers head man.

“I’ve heard so many things about him prior to me coming here,” Amundson said. “To see how he works on a day-to-day basis, and to see the detail he puts into this, it’s great to be playing for him.”

Last season, he split his time among three teams — Minnesota, Chicago and New Orleans. Amundson appeared in 39 games, averaging 2.7 rebounds and 1.9 points.

For his career, Amundson is averaging 3.7 points per game and 3.6 rebounds. He’s appeared in 327 career games.

While at UNLV, Amundson appeared in 120 career games with 68 starts.

He averaged 7.2 points and 5.6 rebounds, and was the first Mountain West player to have multiple 20-point, 20-rebound games. He was also named to the all-Mountain West second team as a senior.

He never made the NCAA Tournament, however.

“It wasn’t for a lack of trying,” Amundson said.

The lack of NCAA Tournament berths doesn’t stop Amundson from keeping tabs on the program, and added that it gives him a sense of pride knowing that he was a part of the program’s rebuilding process.

“You feel more pride in the fact that you know where it came from and the position it was in,” he said. “You appreciate how much work has gone into raising the perception and raise the level of play for all the success that has happened there.”

Paul Delos Santos can be reached at 990-2416 or mail to [email protected] Follow Paul on Twitter at twitter.com/pauliedelos.

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