Chris Paul had never worn a protective mask until warmups Sunday, just hours before the Clippers faced Golden State.
In fact, he didn't even know he'd need it until Saturday, when X-rays revealed that he'd suffered a nasal fracture in the first quarter of Friday's win against San Antonio when he was hit in the face by Spurs swingman Danny Green.
During his team's 97-93 loss to the Warriors, Paul was hit on the nose several times, but he said the mask protected it well.
"It's different, but it doesn't inhibit anything," Paul said after a relatively quiet 23 points on 10-for-18 shooting.
It's a look Paul will be wearing for a while.
A Clippers spokesman said Paul will be wearing it indefinitely until the injury is healed.
"I'm sure it gets hot under there a little bit and it's a little aggravating, but he'll get used to it," Coach Vinny Del Negro said.
"I thought he had a pretty solid game for us."
The Billups factor
A popular argument being thrown around since Chauncey Billups suffered a season-ending torn Achilles' tendon on Feb. 6 is how much his absence has affected the Clippers' record without him.
Del Negro said there's more to that figure than just Billups' absence, including a recent hectic road schedule and the fatigue that comes with it.
Of those 17 games, 12 have been on the road.
Nine of the 17 were against teams with winning records.
And those 17 games were played in a span of 32 days — an average of about one game every other day.
For as gaping a hole as Billups seems to have left the Clippers, who are lacking his veteran leadership, scoring and clutch free-throw shooting, Del Negro doesn't want to use that as a crutch.
"I think we've let a few games slip away and I think we've stolen a few games as well," he said. "Usually, in the end, it balances out."
In late February, the Clippers fell subject to heavy criticism when it was learned that they told their unofficial cheerleader, longtime fan Darrell Bailey, to no longer represent the Clippers with advertisers or in the community without the team's approval.
To signify what seemed the end of the relationship between the Clippers and "Clipper Darrell," the Clippers released a sharply worded statement, which said, in part: "He is not actually a fan of the Clippers, but a fan of what he can make off of the Clippers."
In the team's first home game since that statement, Bailey, an 11-year season-ticket holder, sat in his usual section, wore his usual custom-made blue-and-red suit, stood and cheered "Let's go, Clippers" often and heckled the Warriors when they were at the free-throw line.