LOS ANGELES–In his 44 minutes on the court Eric Bledsoe was dynamic and at times unguardable, helping the host Clippers to a 97-91 win over the Lakers in Wednesday’s preseason game at Staples Center.

Bledsoe, who started in place of superstar Chris Paul (rest), finished with 22 points, 11 assists, nine steals (six in the first half), four rebounds, and enough wondrous plays to fill a highlight reel. He converted acrobatic layups, swooped into passing lanes, and connected on passes over his head, around his back and over his shoulder.  

Caron Butler received the ball on the block while posting up on one play in a team scrimmage during the first day of training camp at the Clippers’ Playa Vista Training Center. Securing the ball across his chest with his elbows out, he peered to his left, feeling new Clipper Lamar Odom’s arm bar up, not backing down on defense and ready to block the shot.

Butler then drop-stepped to his other side, almost dunking on Odom, who couldn’t help but joke and trash talk in the excitement of being reunited with his long-time friend and former teammate.

Prior to the Clippers, 88-71, exhibition win over the Golden State Warriors Monday night at Staples Center, Head Coach Vinny Del Negro said he will know intuitively when his team hits its stride.

“I’m a big believer in trusting your eyes because you kind of know when it looks right,” Del Negro told the media. “For the most part, I feel pretty good about where we’re at.”

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