LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – No more cardboard cutouts. Staples Center was completely full for the first time in 15 months Friday night as the Los Angeles Clippers hosted the Utah Jazz for Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
The stakes could not have been higher as the Clippers came back from a 25 point deficit to win 131-119, advancing to the Western Conference finals for the first time in the franchise’s 51-year history.
The move came after California reopened Tuesday, lifting its stay-at-home order, scrapping social distancing guidelines and removing nearly all mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals.
The team announced that all fans would have to either self-attest to being fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within 72 hours of the game. Self-attesting means they do not have to provide proof.
Those sitting court side, however, would have to provide proof of vaccination, as well as a negative COVID-19 test.
Per NBA guidelines, all fans will have to wear masks unless eating or drinking. For the first time since Staples reopened to crowds, fans will be allowed to consume food and drinks in their seats.
Despite losing star Kawhi Leonard to a knee injury after Game 4, the Clippers were able to take Game 5 on the road in Salt Lake City thanks to gutsy performances from Paul George and Reggie Jackson. They were without Leonard again Friday.