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Without their stars, Clippers are no match against Warriors

Clippers guard Reggie Jackson, front left, is defended by Golden State Warriors forward JaMychal Green, back left, and guard Stephen Curry during the first half on Wednesday in San Francisco. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

For a franchise that has gone all-in on its NBA title aspirations, this matchup against the reigning champions could have represented a litmus test.

Instead, Wednesday became just another night when the Clippers’ present and future plans hinged on medical tests.

Their roster battered and incomplete for the better part of two seasons, the Clippers continued their short-handed start in a 124-107 loss to Golden State without injured All-Star wings Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and sharpshooter Luke Kennard.

Marcus Morris Sr. scored a team-high 19 points, and Terance Mann and Norman Powell scored 17 apiece as the Clippers fell to 11-8, unable to rein in Andrew Wiggins’ season-high 31 points and 19 Golden State three-pointers.

“I wish we were full strength against anybody,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “Just to get our rhythm and establish how we want to play. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case this year, but it’s coming.”

Leonard had expressed little concern after he rolled his right ankle in Monday’s victory against Utah, but Lue said Leonard woke with soreness Tuesday and despite “feeling better,” Leonard has no timetable for a return, according to the coach.

Neither does George, who has not played since Nov. 19 because of a strained hamstring tendon, or Kennard, sidelined for a fourth consecutive game because of a strained calf.

“I’m sure they’re really anxious to get whole and when they are whole, you look at that roster, it’s pretty impressive,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “They’re one of the teams you’ve got to think will be around in the end.”

The Clippers have been on the Warriors’ mind since the earliest days of their reign. During a July podcast appearance, only weeks after the Warriors clinched their fourth championship in eight seasons, defensive star Draymond Green called Lue’s team “a threat and a problem.”

Yet if the full-strength…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/without-stars-clippers-no-match-064142659.html?src=rss

Author : LA Times

Publish date : 2022-11-24 06:41:42

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