The Portland Trail Blazers, led by Damian Lillard, defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 134-106 at home Sunday, securing their second win of the preseason. The Clippers fell to 1-2 in exhibition play with the loss.
The starting lineup for the Clippers was as expected: Patrick Beverley (PG), Miloš Teodosić (SG), Wesley Johnson (SF), Blake Griffin (PF) and DeAndre Jordan (C).
The hometown squad jumped out to a 15-3 lead to start the game, delighting fans. Rookie guard Teodosić then dislocated his left pinkie finger, and left the court with Clippers’ trainer Jason Powell. Clipper curse in the preseason?
Milos Teodosic just went to locker room holding his hand. He left with Clippers head athletic trainer Jasen Powell— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) October 8, 2017
Luckily, Teodosić’s injury was not serious and he was able to return to the game in the second quarter. He did not appear any worse for the wear, finishing the game with 15 points off 5 for 12 shooting, including four 3-point buckets.
*dislocates finger*— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) October 8, 2017
*makes three* pic.twitter.com/jiqClSKCxd
Teodosić also contributed 3 assists.
Despite Teodosić’s offensively charged performance, the Clippers never really had a chance in this contest. Scoring was close in the first and third quarters, but the Blazers outscored the Clippers by 17 points in the second quarter and 16 points in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.
A few takeaways:
- Teodosić was looking to shoot, and seemed to find a groove in this match-up, particularly with the 3-ball.
- Beverley did not fare well tonight, going 0-5 from the field. He ended the game with 1 point. Whether Beverley and Teodosić can hit double figures in the same game has yet to be seen; their chemistry is something to watch. They are likely choice for the Clippers regular season starting backcourt, and it would be nice to have them combine for 20+ points per game. Beverley did contribute 6 assists, including this nice lob to Willie Reed for the slam dunk.
- The Clippers continued to demonstrate very balanced scoring. Six Clippers were in double figures for Los Angeles: Griffin (15p), Jordan (12), Teodosic (15), Sindarius Thornwell (14), Williams (11) and Jawun Evans (11).
Final— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) October 8, 2017
- Rebounding continued to be an issue. The Clippers were outrebounded 58-49. Jordan led the Clippers with 14 boards.
- Defense was sorely lacking. The Clippers had a defensive rating of 126.3 for the game, as compared to the Blazers’ 99.9. Four Blazers hit double figures: Lillard led all scorers with 35 in 26 minutes, CJ McCollum added 20 points, Moe Harkless scored 16 on 6-for-6 shooting off the bench, and Jusuf Nurkic added 13 points and 9 rebounds before fouling out. Looks like Defense is going to the Clippers’ Achilles heel this season.
The Clippers next preseason game is at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday, October 12 at 7:30 PM PT against the Sacramento Kings.