Clippers rout Warriors with 35-point win

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So far in this preseason, the Los Angeles Clippers have been to Canada and China for some exhibition games, but tonight they are back home at Staples Center to face the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Last season is in the past and with some new additions to the team, the Clippers have an optimistic view of the coming season. They will need that if they are going to overtake teams like the Warriors, who have essentially the same players that won the NBA title in June.

Golden State Warriors Interim Head Coach Luke Walton
Golden State Warriors Interim Head Coach Luke Walton

The Clippers have added players for their second team who can score and play strong defense. They went for some experience for the team, guys like Lance Stephenson, Cole Aldrich, Josh Smith and Pablo Prigioni. Is this the team that can win a championship? This season the Clippers have the one thing they didn’t have last season: depth. Coach Doc Rivers can go to anyone on his bench and feel confident they will get the job done.

Looking at the Golden State Warriors roster this is a team that can win another championship. Steph Curry still looks like the best player in the league and he has most of the players that took the court in June.

The big question for the Warriors is: When will head coach Steve Kerr come back to work? Luke Walton is the interim head coach and he said Kerr has been around the practice facility, but we wouldn’t see him in a coaching capacity. Kerr did make it to the game, but he stayed out of the picture has he recuperates from two back surgeries this past summer.

It’s the preseason and the teams are still evaluating their talent, but it was a big game for the Clippers and their fans. If you look at the final score from tonight’s game, you will ask, What happened to the Warriors?

First of all they rested Steph Curry and Andre Igoudala, so that was a big part of their declining offense. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

If you look at the new players on the Clippers’ roster, and then watch them play, it’s clear the Clippers made some big moves in the off season and the second unit depth paid off against the NBA champions.

Josh Smith, who helped sink the Clippers last season during the playoffs when he played for the Rockets, adds some big scoring. Along with Smith there’s Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson and Austin Rivers, who has improved quite a bit from last season. That’s a team that can score some points and play good defense.

DeAndre Jordan shooting a free throw.
DeAndre Jordan shooting a free throw.

The Clippers dominated in the first half, leading by 24 points. The Warriors, let by Klay Thompson and Shaun Livingston, kept pace with L.A. in the third quarter, but once the game rolled into the final 12 minutes the Clippers dominated once again. The final score was 130 to 95, Clippers. It’s not often the Golden State Warriors are held under 100 points.

High scorer for the Clippers was Blake Griffin, with 29 points, followed by Austin Rivers, who had 16. Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford each had 13 and Chris Paul had seven points and ten assists before he was ejected from the game for arguing with one of the officials.

Klay Thompson led the scoring for Golden State, finishing with 21 points.

The next game for the Clippers will be here at Staples Center on Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Warriors will play the Lakers at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Thursday.

(Photos by Claudia Gestro)