Postgame Report: Clippers 88, Warriors 71 - 10/22/12

LOS ANGELES–The Clippers led by as many as 28 points and cruised to an 88-71 victory over the Golden State Warriors Monday night at Staples Center.

DeAndre Jordan continued his excellent play in the preseason, leading the team with 18 points and 12 rebounds in just 25 minutes.

“[Jordan] definitely put in some work this summer, you can see it,” Head Coach Vinny Del Negro said. “His balance is better, his positioning, his overall level of intensity is just better. I’m pleased with the way he ran the floor and his effort driving to the basket.”

Jordan came into the game averaging 12.6 points per game and a just under nine rebounds and praised his teammates for continuing to give him the ball in the post. “My teammates trust me down there with the ball and with their trust it just builds my confidence to not only score but just to make the right basketball play,” Jordan said.

Blake Griffin, who scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds to go along with six assists on 6-of-10 shooting (60%) after getting the night off Saturday in Utah, was complimentary of  Jordan’s improvement on the low block this preseason.

"We've thrown him the ball from the beginning and he's done a good job of staying confident, staying patient, staying ready and just attacking,” Griffin said. “That's all he has to do. Every game isn't going to be a high-scoring night for him.  Our key for him is to get him involved early and get him going."

Two days after logging 36 minutes, Chris Paul needed just 27 minutes to score 11 points and dish out nine assists, tied for the most he has had this preseason. Despite the blowout victory, the Clippers team leader still feels they can improve, particularly on defense.

“We have shown the capability to score and we have to play at high levels every night,” Paul said. “We can’t rely on scoring every night; we have to rely on defense.

The Clippers came out a bit flat to start the game, falling behind 10-4 and missing six of their first seven shots. But they put together a 13-0 run sparked by a couple of thunderous dunks from Jordan along with two steals from Paul.

“The first couple of minutes we came out a little flat but then we picked up our energy and played some defense that led to some easy buckets for us,” Jordan said. “As long as we come out with that energy and that intensity on the defensive end I feel like we can into the flow offensively.”

Del Negro talked about the Clippers focus on defense prior to the game and it showed on the floor as they held the Warriors to 32.9% shooting for the game.

The Clippers ball movement was stellar throughout the night, assisting on 25 of their 36 field goals. Four players recorded at least three assists, including Jamal Crawford who finished with four.

“There were things we did better tonight,” Del Negro said. “I thought our ball movement was good. We controlled our turnovers better. We came out with some good intensity in the third quarter and controlled the lead and Chris [Paul] pushed the tempo well.”

The bench also showed off their depth, led b y Ryan Hollins who scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds. The reserves also went on an 8-0 run to start the second quarter to push the lead to 14.

“We have one of the deepest teams in the league, if not the deepest,” Jordan said. “We have confidence in everyone on this roster. As long as we stay healthy and everyone accepts their roles, we’ll be fine.”

Notes: Grant Hill and Lamar Odom did not play for the third consecutive game… Chris Paul was among several London Olympians honored at halftime… Ronny Turiaf had his second consecutive game with double-figure rebounds, grabbing 11 boards after hauling in 10 Saturday at Utah…Travis Leslie scored two points and grabbed two rebounds in seven fourth-quarter minutes…The Clippers will play their last home game of the preseason Wednesday against the Lakers…The Warriors will return to Staples Center on November 3 for the first of four regular season meetings with the Clippers.