The Clippers lose to the Warriors as Kawhi Leonard takes out Paul George

For a franchise that went all-in on its NBA title aspirations, this matchup towards the defending champions might have been a litmus check.

As a substitute, Wednesday turned simply one other evening during which the Clippers’ current and future plans hinged on medical exams.

Their battered and incomplete roster for the higher a part of two seasons, the Clippers continued their short-handed begin in a 124-107 loss to Golden State with out injured All-Star wings Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and the marksman Luke Kennard.

Marcus Morris Sr. scored a team-high 19 factors, and Terance Mann and Norman Powell every scored 17 because the Clippers fell to 11-8, unable to maintain Andrew Wiggins’ season-high 31 factors and 19 Golden State three-pointer.

“I want we had been full towards anybody,” stated supervisor Tyronn Lue. “Simply to get into our rhythm and set up how we wish to play. Sadly that hasn’t been the case this 12 months, however it’s coming.”

Leonard had expressed little concern after rolling his proper ankle in Monday’s win towards Utah, however Luc stated Leonard wakened Tuesday in ache and regardless of “feeling higher,” Leonard has no plans for a comeback, in keeping with the coach.

Not even George, who hasn’t performed since Nov. 19 with a strained hamstring, or Kennard, who was sidelined for the fourth straight sport with a strained calf.

“I am positive they’re actually desperate to combine and after they’re complete, you take a look at that roster, it is fairly spectacular,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr stated. “They’re one of many groups that it’s important to assume will ultimately be there.”

The Clippers have been on the thoughts of warriors because the early days of their reign. Throughout a July podcast look, simply weeks after the Warriors captured their fourth championship in eight seasons, star defensive finish Draymond Inexperienced known as Lue’s workforce “a risk and an issue.”

Nevertheless, if the Clippers’ potential at full power has the respect of their opponents, hitting him has been inconceivable practically 1 / 4 into the schedule as a result of they have not had a big harm respite since coaching camp closed.

The Clippers thrived final season whereas lacking chunks of their rotation. That grit hasn’t been utterly extinguished. Regardless of permitting Klay Thompson 15 factors within the first quarter, scoring simply 18 factors within the second quarter largely avoiding pictures within the field, and trailing by 19 after the Warriors ended the half on an 18-4 run, the Clippers they minimize their deficit to 11 within the third quarter.

When Golden State responded by utilizing miscommunication for a late layup and a three-pointer to push their result in 16, the Clippers stored coming, slicing it once more to 11 after which 9 with three minutes to play within the third. Then a pair of 3-pointers by Stephen Curry, who made 22, added once more to the Warriors’ lead of 16 after three quarters.

Clippers forward Norman Powell shoots at Golden State Warriors forward Anthony Lamb and guard Donte DiVincenzo.

Clippers ahead Norman Powell (24) shoots at Golden State Warriors ahead Anthony Lamb, proper foreground, and guard Donte DiVincenzo throughout Wednesday’s first half in San Francisco.

(Jeff Chiu/Related Press)

“I preferred the best way we stored combating,” Lue stated.

Even with the caveat that the Clippers’ most formidable names had been lacking, Wednesday revealed breakdowns they will not be capable of afford even when Leonard and George return.

The Clippers emphasised the transition protection of their pregame buildup, however surrendered 14 factors on the break within the first half, highlighted by Thompson pounding the protection for a simple dunk within the first quarter. There have been different sport plan errors as nicely, as judged by the frequent sight of 1 participant asking one other the place he was in an interrupted play.

When Curry checked in with seven minutes to play within the fourth quarter, the Warriors led by 21. Simply 50 seconds later, that lead was 26.

Mann began rather than Leonard and Amir Coffey for George, simply as Luc turned to Coffey final season throughout George’s months-long absence following his elbow harm. Coffey scored 13 factors in 36 minutes with seven assists.

And with the Clippers instantly lit up on versatile wingers, Robert Covington performed greater than 20 minutes for less than the third time in 11 appearances, after his rotation spot had been misplaced in latest weeks as Lue expanded Mann’s function. Covington made one in all seven pictures and in addition took an elbow from Jordan Poole within the jaw. Covington stated he understood when Luc instructed him this month that the workforce wished to strive a unique path.

“He simply instructed me to stick with him,” Covington stated.

Even with simply 10 wholesome gamers, Luc nonetheless made decisions together with his minutes. One sport after committing eight turnovers and never taking part in within the fourth quarter, guard John Wall sat down for the ultimate 10 minutes. The Clippers trailed by 25 factors in his 21 minutes.

“We simply need to take into consideration the truth that he hasn’t performed for 2 years and pretty much as good as he is been for us all 12 months, it is solely his thirteenth or 14th sport in two years,” stated Lue.

“It would take a while for that. We understood that and he is truly taking part in a lot better than I anticipated at first of the season.