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Clippers end preseason with 110-100 loss to Sacramento Kings

The team is warmed up after its 5-3 exhibition schedule and is ready to raise the curtain on its regular season.

October 25, 2013|By Broderick Turner
  • Willie Green passes the ball over Sacramento's Jason Thompson during the Clippers' 110-100 loss to the Kings at Staples Center on Friday.
Willie Green passes the ball over Sacramento's Jason Thompson during… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

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All the dress rehearsals are over for the Clippers, and now it is time for them to focus on the regular-season opener Tuesday night against their city-rivals, the Lakers.

Even though health was an issue for the Clippers throughout training camp and the exhibition season, they are basically whole again.

They finished their eight-game exhibition schedule with a 110-100 loss to the Sacramento Kings Friday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers finished with a 5-3 record exhibition season record, doing so by playing their starters limited minutes against the Kings.

"I think we're ready," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "Honestly, did you think any coach knows if he's ready? I really don't think any coach can say, 'I know we're ready.' We play preseason games. It's a whole different level on Tuesday. It is. No matter what you do."

Clippers small forward Matt Barnes played in his first exhibition against the Kings after missing the seven games recovering from a sore left calf.

Barnes had four points before fouling out after playing just 20 minutes, 47 seconds.

There was one setback for the Clippers when backup point guard Darren Collison missed his first exhibition because of a bruised left kneecap.

Collison said he will play Tuesday night against the Lakers.

The Clippers dealt with injuries all camp long.

Shooting guard J.J. Redick played in just his second exhibition after missing the first six with a partially torn quad muscle. Redick had 10 points on two-for-six shooting, one-for-five on three-pointers, in 21:32.

Blake Griffin missed two games with a sore right ankle and he suffered a left bone bruise. Griffin had seven points and eight rebounds in 28:19 against the Kings.

Rookie small forward Reggie Bullock played in just his second exhibition after missing the first six with an injured right knee. Bullock had three points.

Guard Maalik Wynns had successful surgery Friday to repair a torn cartilage in his left knee.

Still, Rivers wants his team to move past all those obstacles and get ready for the 82-game regular season.

"Guys use preseason to get into shape, to get their timing right," said Rivers, who said he will carry a 14-man roster this season. "Even though they do have good intensity, Tuesday will be another level."

Center DeAndre Jordan, who is a part of the Clippers' big three with Chris Paul (23 points in 28:07) and Griffin, said they're ready to go to another level as a team.

"This is probably the most ready I've ever been, and my teammates have ever been," said Jordan, who had 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 19:15.


"Because of that guy over there in the office," said Jordan, pointing toward Rivers' office. "Everybody is ready. We've had good teams before. We had a great team last year and the year before. But I just feel something different about this team. The mind-set is different."

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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