Clippers got within a point of taking the lead at the end of the 3rd, but lost 99-92.
That was pretty much the highlight of the night for the Clippers.
The Lakers defense was incredible tonight, stifling the Clippers who were sunk by the hobbled Baron. As many here have stated based on seeing Baron's energetic play in preseason - as Baron goes, so will the Clippers.
He still dished out 8 assists, got 4 rebounds, 2 steals and a block but he was definitely NOT the Baron we saw in preseason. There was no explosiveness, there was no slashing, and his shots were off, WAY off. Airballs and awkward toss ups had him shooting 10% by the end of the night.
I think the loss of BLake right before the game, drained some mental fortitude from the team. That plus the ring show before the game seemed to have punched a "we're overmatched" mindset that translated into overanxious jitters and a rash of turnovers which turned into easy points for the Lake show.
Against a defending champ, you just can't make mistakes - and the Clippers made too many to overcome. The only reason it was a game was because Phil rested the entire 1st unit and the Rhino kicked into effect.
BTW it was ring night AND the Lakers won and most of the lower bowl was empty by the time the game was over. It's really sad how their true fans can't even afford to be there, appreciating their team on opening night. I guess they only care about playoff games and championships. The regular season must be such a bore for them. Incredible.
Is it only in L.A. where fans leave early whether the home team is up by ten or down by twenty?
I guess getting out of the parking lot is more important than giving your team a round of applause as they head into the tunnel.
Anyhow, I think the Clippers looked unprepared for the intensity of the Lakers long armed, trapping defense. Coach Chicken Man better have his team more prepared the next time they face a good defensive team so they can take advantage of the open man when the ball gets trapped.
Since tomorrow night is Phoenix (not known as a defensive juggernaut) I think the Clippers should be much more fun to watch with hopefully a better outcome!