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Lessons learned in Clippers' 99-88 preseason loss to Kings

October 15, 2013|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers guard Darren Collison drives to the basket between Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins, left, and Greivis Vasquez on Monday night.
Clippers guard Darren Collison drives to the basket between Sacramento's… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

There were some things that were learned about the Clippers in their 99-88 exhibition game loss to the Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

The Clippers will have a deep team this season, perhaps even deeper than last year’s team.

Clippers fans better get used to watching big man Byron Mullens launch a bunch of three-pointers this season.

Backup point guard Darren Collison is more than a capable replacement for the departed Eric Bledsoe, who was a part of a three-team trade that landed him with the Phoenix Suns.

Jamal Crawford is back doing what Jamal Crawford does — scoring and scoring in bunches.

With starters Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan not playing against the Kings — starting guard J.J. Redick hasn’t played in an exhibition game yet because of a bruised left quad — Clippers Coach Doc Rivers started Collison, Mullens and Lou Amundson for his resting players.

It gave Rivers a chance to see how effective his reserves can be, even as starters.

Mullens had 16 points. Twelve of his 18 field goal attempts were three-pointers. He was four-for-12 from three-point range, six-for-18 from the field.

Of the 38 field goals the 7-foot, 275-pound Mullens has taken in the first three exhibition games, 26 were three-pointers. He is making 30% (eight-for-26) of his threes.

Last season with Charlotte, Mullens took 208 three-pointers during the 53 games he played in.

Collison is a super-quick point guard who plays under control, something Bledsoe didn’t always do with the Clippers.

Collison had a double-double for the Clippers against the Kings, scoring 20 points and handing out 10 assists.

In his first two exhibition games, Crawford scored just four points on two-for-eight shooting. He didn’t look comfortable.

Monday night was a different story.

Crawford came off the bench to score 25 points on nine-for-14 shooting, four-for-six on three-pointers.

He seemed to be his old self, breaking down defenders, using his deft ballhandling skills to get free, making shots from all over the court.

The Clippers play Tuesday night in Phoenix, and Rivers is expected to start Paul, Griffin and Jordan against the Suns.

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