Chris Paul and the new-look L.A. Clippers didn't supply the gift of Lob City we saw glimpses of during the preseason in the team's Sunday opener against the Golden State Warriors. But the Clips managed to be impressive nonetheless, breaking away late for a 105-86 win over their rivals in Oakland.
Paul scored 20 points on 7-12 shooting with nine assists and just two turnovers. In what could become a central piece of L.A.'s identity, the team offered up just 10 turnovers for the game; the club was sure-handed in preseason as well. Blake Griffin, CP3's All-Star finisher, scored a game-high 22 on 9-18 shooting. Chauncey Billups added 21 as the starting two-guard.
Sam Amick On SI.com: Lob City A Work In Progress
The Warriors had problems all over the place, despite being in the game into the second half. A clearly hobbled Stephen Curry scored just four points in 33 minutes of action; he shot 2-12 from the floor and had more turnovers (five) than assists (four). He turned his ankle in a preseason game Tuesday and was a question mark going into Sunday's game; if that injury isn't allowed to heal properly, Golden State's season could spiral very quickly. Monta Ellis shot just 6-19 from the floor against Billups and Randy Foye; only the usually mediocre Golden State frontcourt put on a good show as David Lee had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Andris Biedrins had 10 points on 5-5 shooting and eight rebounds, three blocks and no turnovers.
Mark Jackson used the bright lights of ESPN to employ a 'Hack-a-DeAndre-Jordan' strategy once L.A. got into the bonus in the third quarter. It worked: Jordan shot just 4-12 from the line, and now other teams are going to join in. Who loses? Fans who have to watch a hilariously bad shooter shoot.