The debut of Chase Center did not go as planned. In fact, within a few minutes, it had gone about as poorly as the Golden State Warriors could ever have imagined.
Steve Kerr called a timeout less than three minutes into the game. It served two purposes: To stop the bleeding on what was an 11-0 Los Angeles Clippers lead, and to get an injured Draymond Green out of the game.
You can’t draw it up worse than that.
The tone was officially set. And while the Warriors made it competitive for a while, those first three minutes were a microcosm of how the game would go. The result was determined before the buzzer rang to end the third quarter, with the Clippers ultimately winning 141-122. And while Green returned, his injury was foreshadowing, as Kevon Looney left the game at halftime.
Kevon Looney has right hamstring tightness and will not return tonight. Precautionary.— Kerith Burke (@KerithBurke) October 25, 2019
But before all that happened, the Warriors made things interesting. It started with the new guy . . . err, one of the ten new guys. The Warriors fell behind 14-0 before D’Angelo Russell got them on the board. And then he did it again. And again. And again.
Russell scored the first ten points of the game for the Warriors, leading a 10-2 run that got the new arena rocking, and the game interesting. It was a bit mesmerizing.
D-Lo with 10 early points pic.twitter.com/a0kf8WzxL2— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) October 25, 2019
That got Steph Curry going, and he eventually splashed in ten points in the quarter as well. It was fun to see Curry back in action, and at times you almost forgot that these aren’t the world-beating Warriors of recent years. On some plays, they looked just like “old” times.
But the Warriors defense, which figures to struggle all year, was no match for the Clippers high-octane offense. LA flirted with offensive dominance in the first half, and unleashed it in the second.
In the third quarter, the Clippers poured on 46 points on 62% shooting. And that was the game. LA took a 24-point lead into the fourth quarter. It was never close again.
We could talk all day about the Warriors poor performance - they allowed the Clippers to shoot 62.5% from the field, and record 33 assists - but instead, let’s do some quick-hitting silver linings, and send you into your Friday on a high note:
- Jacob Evans III looked good. Not like, “better than last year” good, which wouldn’t be hard to do. But genuinely good. His jumper was crisp - he made four of six from deep - and looked strong defensively. He finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist, with no turnovers. He’s in the rotation. And he’s now made as many threes in his sophomore year as in his rookie year.
- Eric Paschall was pretty good.
- Kevon Looney hit a three-pointer!
- Omari Spellman was much better than in the preseason, and looked in decent shape.
- Draymond Green appeared to be in phenomenal shape.
- Jordan Poole didn’t have a good night, but he kept his confidence and kept moving, both with and without the ball. That’s important.
On to the next one.