Players and coaches will tell you that the preseason isn't all about wins and losses, but the 115-109 final score doesn't begin to scratch the surface of the significance of the Clippers victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday. In their final preseason game, the Clippers not only overcame a 35-point deficit, but they did so thanks to strong performances from some of their key offseason additions who appear to be finding their groove in LA. Lance Stephenson finally looked comfortable starting at small forward, Wesley Johnson settled in to his role with the second unit, and Paul Pierce caught fire to keep the Blazers starting backcourt at bay as they battled the Clippers bench in the fourth quarter.
Though the wins and losses will be wiped clean when the Clippers season kicks off on Wednesday, the impact of this game will not be forgotten. Pierce alluded to the importance of the victory as the team moves forward into the regular season (Clippers.com):
"Whenever we get down throughout the year, I'm going to go back and refer to this game. The game is never over. Guys have to realize that."
So while many will write the preseason off as inconsequential, fans have to be excited with the passion and fight that they finally saw out of this Clippers team after five lackluster preseason games. And if there's such a thing as momentum in sports, it seems that the Clippers have every reason to be looking forward to opening night
Relive the incredible (preseason) comeback right here, courtesy of ESPN.com: