OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors sported a new coach, new uniforms, a new logo and nearly a dozen new players for their preseason opener.
Perhaps best of all, the Warriors showed flashes of what could be a new defense, which helped them to a 127-87 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.
After finishing 29th in opponent field goal percentage last season, the Warriors held a depleted Clippers squad to just 37.8 percent shooting.
"I loved the fact that we scrambled," said Warriors coach Keith Smart, in his first game since taking over for Don Nelson on Sept. 27. "We got to our spots. When a guy got beaten, we didn't just stop. We kept pursuing the next effort. The good defensive teams in the league, they have three or four efforts when a play breaks down. Hopefully, our group can keep developing to that point."
The game turned in the third quarter, when Los Angeles went 5 for 23 and the Warriors' starters took advantage to outscore the Clippers, 35-14. Stephen Curry scored 10 of his 18 points in the period, and Monta Ellis added seven of his team-high 22.
Los Angeles was playing for the third time in four nights and was without guard Baron Davis -- held out for the third consecutive game due to poor conditioning -- and center Chris Kaman, who was given the night off.
The Warriors couldn't contain Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin, who picked up 23 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals in continuing his comeback from last year's season-ending stress fracture in his left kneecap. He fell one board shy of a second consecutive double-double, having gone for 18 points and 13 boards in Los Angeles' 120-88 win at Sacramento on Thursday.
The only man who could stop Griffin was himself: The No. 1 overall pick in 2009 missed seven of 10 free-throw attempts.
"I liked his aggressiveness, I like him attacking," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "His athleticism is special and now we have to help teach him how to find an NBA game that's consistent [and] that he's comfortable with."
Center Andris Biedrins, who struggled through an injury-plagued 2009-10 season, had 10 rebounds to help Golden State -- the NBA's worst rebounding team a year ago -- outboard Los Angeles by a 49-40 count.
"I thought he was getting back to his old self, when he was all around the glass rebounding," Smart said. "He's moving in the direction that we want. He's having fun."
New Warriors acquisitions Dorell Wright and David Lee provided 16 and 15 points, respectively. Reggie Williams (20 points) and Vladimir Radmanovic (10) rounded out the list of six double-figure scorers for Golden State.
Eric Gordon added 18 points for the Clippers but missed nine of 14 shots. Los Angeles rookie Al-Farouq Aminu, the No. 8 selection out of Wake Forest, collected 13 points and four rebounds.
San Francisco Bay Area product Jeremy Lin, signed by the Warriors as an undrafted rookie free agent, drew the largest cheers of the night from the crowd of 10,004 when he made his professional debut with 10:49 remaining. Lin finished with seven points, three rebounds and two assists.
|L.A. Clippers 1-2||33||24||14||16||87|
|Golden State 1-0 «||35||31||35||26||127|