Before the start of LA’s regular-season finale against Oklahoma City, Ty Lue outlined his priorities for the evening. Sure, it might have been a rare opportunity to get the Clippers’ top nine on the floor together, but Lue didn’t think it was worth the risk of someone getting hurt, especially with a week off until the start of the playoffs.
“My biggest thing with the luck we’ve had all season, we’re just try to get our eight or nine guys out and just make sure we’re healthy,” Lue said pregame. “I’ll take health over rust any day. That was our main thought.”
That meant Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Marcus Morris Sr., Rajon Rondo, and Nic Batum all had the night off. Ivica Zubac also basically got the night off, as he started the contest in order to keep his consecutive games played streak intact, and then committed a foul within six second to take a seat for the night. Additionally, Reggie Jackson played one seven-minute shift before joining his veteran teammates on the bench.
The Clippers who remained on the floor did what they do and competed, just as they have shorthanded all season. They never fell behind by more than six points in the second half, but didn’t quite have enough to come out with a win, ultimately losing 117-112.
Patrick Patterson actually led the team in minutes with 42, but it was the young guns who dominated the action for the Clippers. Daniel Oturu got off 21 shots, including a designed post-up on the team’s last offensive possession of the game. Jay Scrubb also had 17 shot attempts in 27 minutes. Eight Clippers scored in double figures on the evening, everyone who played more than one shift, as the team seemed content to just get some run instead of going for the win.
With the result, the Clippers will be the fourth seed and match up against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round for the second consecutive postseason.