Clippers final score: L.A. still owns Memphis, 101-92

Stephen Dunn

The Clippers open the season with a win in what felt a bit like Game 8 of their series with Memphis. Jamal Crawford had a scintillating 29 points in 30 minutes in his L.A. debut.

OK, I've been trying to hide it throughout the preseason, but I kind of love this Los Angeles Clippers team. I mean, seriously, what's not to love? With 10 men in uniform between injuries and a suspension to Matt Barnes, the Clippers got nice contributions from every last one of them to beat a good Memphis Grizzlies team, 101-92. And they did so with Chris Paul scoring just 12, and Blake Griffin scoring just 11. Imagine when they have Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill and Barnes back?

The Clippers two leading scorers Wednesday night came off their bench. Jamal Crawford, in his first game as a Clipper, scored 29 points in just under 30 minutes to announce his arrival in L.A., and Eric Bledsoe had an impressive 19 13 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 17 minutes.

With neither the injured Hill nor Barnes available to spell Caron Butler, the Grizzlies went time and again to Rudy Gay, who responded with 25 points, many of them coming against the undersized defense of Crawford or Willie Green while Bulter rested. But even pressing that advantage to its fullest, the Grizzlies couldn't handle the Clippers.

When the Clippers weren't turning the ball over (22 turnovers in the game including 12 in the second quarter that fueled a 19-3 Grizzlies run) they really had this game in hand. Paul did as he often does, biding his time through three quarters and then taking control of the game in the fourth. His bucket with 3:37 left to give the Clippers a five point lead was just plain filthy, and his assist on Crawford's three pointer a minute later more or less sealed the game.

Back soon with more.




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