Think of it this way, Warriors fans: things could be have been much worse Thursday night, as Draymond Green went back to the locker room with an apparent arm injury just three minutes into the season. But he returned shortly thereafter and is seemingly fine — so that crisis is averted.
With that in mind, perhaps Thursday’s season-opening loss — in the first-ever regular-season game in the Chase Center – is small potatoes; if anything, a reminder that the Los Angeles Clippers are just really, really good.
Golden State fell to LA by 19 points, 141-122. The win was the second of the Clippers’ season after defeating the Lakers on opening night.
Kawhi Leonard, in his return to the Bay Area after clinching the 2019 NBA Championship in Oakland over the summer, put up 21 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds, but it was 32-year-old Lou Williams who led the team with 22 points. Williams now has 43 points on 25 shots through two games this season.
“Honestly, I surprise myself sometimes,” he said of his performance afterward.
Steph Curry led the Warriors with 23 points, while D’Angelo Russell put up 20. The team as a whole shot just 39 for 99 (39.4%) from the field, hitting 15 of 41 three-point attempts.
The Clippers simply fired on all cylinders all night long and bolstered the win with a 46-point third quarter. That’s tied for the highest-scoring quarter in franchise history.
Highlights abound for both Clippers and Warriors
Leonard picked up where he left off after scoring 30 on opening night, hitting jaw-dropping shots like these:
And despite the loss, the Warriors had their bright spots. Russell’s first 10 points were the first 10 scored of the season for the team.
Loading... ❄️— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 25, 2019
DLo with the first 10 PTS at Chase Center. pic.twitter.com/ko2JEbXCC7
Curry, playing without his longtime partner in crime Klay Thompson (who instead was being told to his face that his team would miss the playoffs), had his usual highlight-reel moments, as well.
The moral of the story here? The Clippers — who are still without Paul George — look like a formidable force, much as the Warriors did for so long. But there’s no need for Golden State to panic.
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