LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin had 29 points and eight rebounds, Patrick Beverley added 15 points and six steals, and the Los Angeles Clippers cruised to a 130-88 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.
The Clippers took control early in the second half of their home opener and never looked back. Their starters did not play in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles also saw starting point guard Milos Teodosic carried off the floor with a foot injury.
The young Suns played Friday night at home and struggled to get into any offensive flow against Los Angeles. Center Alex Len led Phoenix with 15 points — including nine free throws.
Guard Lou Williams added 18 points, and Danilo Gallinari and Willie Reed 12 points each for the Clippers.
Teodosic, who took over at the point for Chris Paul, was starting his second game. The 30-year-old rookie was a six-time all EuroLeague selection. His injury came with 2:34 to play in the first half. After Gallinari missed a 3-point attempt, Teodosic came crashing to the floor near the far end line. He immediately grabbed his left foot/ankle area and motioned to the bench. After brief medical attention, he was carried off the floor and the Clippers soon announce he would not return. The team said X-rays were negative. He finished with five points.
The Clippers led 58-44 at the half, Griffin’s 3-pointer at the buzzer giving their biggest lead. Los Angeles took command when it opened the third quarter with a 14-2 run.
Suns: Phoenix has the youngest team in the NBA. It is starting the season with four rookies and four second-year players. Said Suns coach Earl Watson: “We are young.”
Clippers: With nine new players this season, it figures to be a while before Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers is certain exactly what kind of team he has. Said Rivers: “I think I know this group and know their talent level. I don’t know what kind of team we have yet.”
Suns: Host the Sacramento Kings on Monday. Sacramento defeated Phoenix three times in four meetings last season.
Clippers: Host the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. The Clippers took three out of four games from the Jazz last season.