I don’t know about you all, but the Clippers should just wear black on their road if they’re trying to win. After getting blasted in preseason away games at Golden State and at Utah, the Clippers switched from red to black and got a win at the new Golden 1 Center, defeating the Sacramento Kings 92-89.
The Clippers led by as many as 21 points, and this served as the last tuneup for Los Angeles until they go to Portland on October 27 to take on the Trail Blazers in their season opener. The win over the Kings evened their preseason record at 3-3. Here’s a quick look at some things from the game:
- Los Angeles PG Chris Paul didn’t do much scoring (8 points, 2-of-6 from the field), but he showed that his thumb is fine, grabbing 4 rebounds to go with a game-high 8 assists and 3 steals. And though Paul wasn’t looking for his shot, he still managed to outscore starting Sacramento PG Garrett Temple (7 points, 3-of-8 FGs).
- Los Angeles SG J.J. Redick had an important bounce-back game, scoring a team-high 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Redick also made 3-of-6 threes after missing all 6 threes the night before in Utah. There’s really no need to worry about Redick, an 11-year veteran who was the most accurate three-point shooter in the league a season ago. But he had a slow preseason until Wednesday night, so it’s good for him to get back on track.
- Luc Mbah a Moute started at SF for the Clippers again last night, and I would expect him to be the starter at Portland next week. Mbah a Moute’s impact defensively is why he would be an asset as a starter, but the focus this preseason has been on his offense. He took 8 shots tonight, making 4 of them (including a three) for 9 points. Mbah a Moute took 8+ shots in a game only once all of last season, and he finishes the preseason making 12-of-20 shots from the field (60 percent):
- In all three Clippers wins this preseason, the bench has let the opponent back into the game, only to contain the threat with a close 4th quarter win. I’d understand if it was rookies and training camp invitees playing a role in that nonsense, but Xavier Munford and Dorell Wright were released last week, while 1st round PF Brice Johnson was injured two weeks ago. Tonight, it was a 21-point 4th quarter lead that got all the way down to 3, with the Kings outscoring the Clippers 24-13 in the final period. Los Angeles shot 4-of-16 (25 percent) from the field while Jamal Crawford, Marreese Speights, and Austin Rivers each had 2 turnovers.
Jamal Crawford is the preseason MVP because he kept three different games from going into overtime.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) October 19, 2016
- At least to start the season, the Clippers gave themselves a nice logistical advantage. They are one of four teams to play their preseason finale on October 18, along with the Kings, Cavaliers, and Thunder. But the Cavaliers have ring night on October 25, while the Kings and Thunder will both play on October 26. Oklahoma City also went overseas this preseason. So not only did the Clippers play only 6 preseason games, but they are the only team in the league with 9 days until their season opener. On the other hand, the Trail Blazers play two more preseason games (at Utah, at Golden State) before opening the season at home against the Jazz on October 25. That’s right – Portland plays three games (one that counts) before the Clippers head up north. We’ll see if that means anything next week, especially with none of you being satisfied with the Clippers’ preseason coming into Wednesday night!
Tonight's game in Sacramento is the preseason finale for the Clippers. How do you feel about their preseason?
— ClipperBlog (@clipperblog) October 18, 2016