Round-Robin NBA Pacific Tournament Ends in Tie

As I mentioned the other day after the Lakers beat up on the Clippers on opening day and then were about to play Golden State on the road, to be followed by the Warriors playing at the Clippers, this round-robin to start the season would likely see all three teams coming out at 1-1, which is exactly what happened.

Watching these three games, what strikes the viewer is how a team can look so good one day and so bad the next, and vice versa. The Clippers looked like a team heading in the wrong direction against the Lakers, who after dominating the Clippers, looked no better than they did last year in falling badly in Oakland. But as good as the Warriors were that night, they were that bad last night, as the Clippers played much like the title contender they were supposed to be.


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Then, there is the fleeting star syndrome. Against the Lakers, Warriors’ guard Klay Thompson looked like a run-a-way MVP, scoring 38 points in only 31 minutes, hitting on an incredible 15 of 19 shots. His running mate, Stephen Curry, was invisible in comparison, scoring only 10 points, while netting six assists. But, last night against the Clippers, it was Thompson who failed to show up, hitting on only three-of-seven for his own measly ten points, while Curry lit up the arena with his own 38, plus nine assists. His 11 turnovers, however, seemed to always come at an opportune time for the Clippers, stopping brief Warriors’ runs and potential momentum changes.

But, THE game of the young season belongs to Clippers’ guard Chris Paul, who started the season with a decent showing of 15 points and 11 assists against the Lakers. Then, last night against Golden State, he was truly spectacular, leading the team to a wire-to-wire win over the high-scoring Warriors, putting in 42 points while still handing off for 15 assists. Only Kevin Durant has scored as many as 42 so far this season. One key half-minute of the game saw Paul connect with Blake Griffin on THREE consecutive lobs for baskets, giving the Clippers their biggest lead of the game at 18 points, and thoroughly demoralizing the Warriors.


Who says it’s NOT a guards’ league (Durant aside)?

After a high-scoring 126-115 game, it’s hard to talk about defense, but the Clippers really did play defense last night, and both significantly better than they did in the opener against the Lakers, and far better against the Warriors than the Laker’s effort in Oakland. The intensity of what



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has become an actual rivalry with the Warriors was evident throughout the game, and several brief but intense “moments” occurred, most significantly when a DeAndre Jordan and Warriors’ center Andrew Bogut shoving match led to double technicals and when Griffin bumped Warriors coach Mark Jackson a time or two, leading to a staring match and a few words.

Holiday Notes: The Los Angeles Clippers have now played ten games on Halloween, and last night was only their second win on All Hallows’ Eve. THE RIVALRY with Golden State will next resume with a game on Christmas Day.

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