Monday, December 26, 2011

Clippers Overcome Early Opening-Night Jitters, Rout Golden State 105-86

"In the span of less than two weeks, some aggressive front-office maneuvering has changed the look of what for decades has been a challenged franchise, turning the usual opening-day expectations of a Clippers' season upside down.

And while going from being the butt of jokes to an instant title contender is all well and good, there remained some minor details that needed to be attended to, such as seeing how their hyped acquisitions would actually perform in a game that counted.

That reality met a hardwood floor on Sunday and the Clippers held up just fine, overcoming some early rust to start the first day of the rest of the franchise started with a 105-86 victory over the Golden State Warriors on a nationally televised Christmas Day in front of 19,596 at Oracle Arena, where the Clippers had lost 10 of their previous 11 games going back to the 2005-06 season.

And the Clippers will take it, even if they thought it was an ugly win.

"I think the biggest thing that killed us was our rebounding," said newly acquired guard Chris Paul, who finished with 20 points and nine assists. "Our rebounding was horrendous. Our defense wasn't as nice as we'd have liked it to be. We were good in spurts. It's a tough environment."

The Warriors all but erased a 67-57 Clippers' lead late in the third quarter, closing to within 78-77 early in the fourth quarter. Then the Clippers closed out the game with a 27-9 run."

Click here for full article, Photograph NBA.COM


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