The Los Angeles Clippers had their 2016 preseason opener at Oracle Arena against the defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors. It was as bad a preseason debut as you could imagine for the Clippers.
In Kevin Durant’s preseason home debut, it was Klay Thompson that dominated the Clippers with a game-high 30 points on 10 of 14 shooting from the field in only 21:20. Durant wasn’t bad either, sliding in with 21 points on 6 of 10 shooting. Durant and Thompson combined for 42 first half points, while the Clippers had only 33 points as a team at halftime.
The Clippers never led. The Warriors led by as many as 53 points, winning by a score of 120-75.
Simply brutal. Of course, this is what the preseason is for – to knock off that one-sided optimism from media day, training camp, and any open scrimmages.
The Clippers were eaten up in all facets of the game, but the perimeter and fast break were sharp mismatches. In the first half alone, the Warriors outscored the Clippers 17-2 on the break, with multiple three-pointers that exposed a lack of transition defensive awareness by L.A. And while Thompson, Durant, and reigning MVP PG Stephen Curry combined to shoot 20 of 32 from the field (62.5 percent), Clippers guards Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, and Austin Rivers were 1 of 25 from the field (4.0 percent).
That’s one 4.0 that will be a failing grade.
Let’s not get too deep into this one. Burn the tape. Blake Griffin played and looked healthy, so that “watch” is over. Marreese Speights was the first big off the bench, while Brandon Bass and Raymond Felton got first half minutes. We didn’t see Paul Pierce, Alan Anderson, or the rookies until after halftime.
The Clippers are right back at it tomorrow night, at STAPLES Center, to host the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors actually beat the Warriors on Saturday, 97-93. It’s preseason, but what a nasty taste this leaves.