JORDAN KEYS FIRST QUARTER RUN
Eric Patten @ericpatten | 4/14/12

LOS ANGELES - DeAndre Jordan showed Saturday why the Golden State Warriors wanted him so badly this offseason.

He was energetic and effective, pouncing on the undermanned Warriors, who were without power forward David Lee, in the ten minutes with 12 points, four rebounds, and a block.

It wasn't necessarily the best "thank you" to the team that inked him to a lucrative offer sheet in December, but for the Clippers it was a glimpse of how devastating their offense can be when Jordan's making plays around the rim.

"It makes them respect another inside presence and he's plenty capable of doing that [scoring in first quarter]," Blake Griffin, Jordan's frontcourt running mate, said. "He did a great job tonight of just attacking and not thinking about it. That's what we need from him and he's capable of it."

Jordan's afternoon started with a turnaround jump-hook over rookie Jeremy Tyler on the Clippers' first possession and he seized control from there. Two Warriors turnovers and a Griffin driving left-handed dunk later, Jordan followed up a Chris Paul miss with a follow slam.

It was all part of a 24-5 run to start the game for the Clippers, which featured alley oops from Paul to Griffin and Paul to Jordan where he caught it with two hands and swung off the rim. Jordan also fit in another slam when Paul squeezed a pass between two defenders and a driving layup around Andris Biedrins and Dorell Wright.

"My teammates put me in great situations to get easy buckets and to just go," Jordan said. "It happens very seldom, a lot [of scoring for me] like that in the first quarter."

But when it does the Clippers are a force. They already boast a 25.8-points-per-game average in the first quarter of games (tied for 2nd in the NBA entering play Saturday). Jordan averages four points in the first when the Clippers win, including shooting a gaudy 71.8%.

"I really thought he did a nice job behind the defense, ducking in, tip ins, a couple of free throws, keeping balls alive," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. "That's big for us."

Del Negro has said before that Jordan's energy early on sets the tone for his play the rest of the game. Jordan finished with 18 points, six rebounds, and two blocks in 25 minutes, but did not play in the fourth quarter as the Warriors used a lineup that mostly consisted of three guards and two forwards. At times, 6-foot-9 Dominic McGuire operated as Golden State's center.

"Today was little bit of a difficult game for some of the bigs just because of all the smalls," Del Negro said. "We were switching and trying to take them off the 3-point line and you give up some penetration, so you go back and forth with that [the lineups]. But I thought DJ's activity was very good and we need that. He's got to be a threat out there on the offensive end and he's got to anchor our defense for us."


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