Doyle: Clippers Have An Identity; Lakers Working Out Kinks

The Clippers beat the Lakers in their season-opener thanks to an MVP-level performance from Kawhi Leonard

Taz and the Moose
October 23, 2019 - 9:46 am
Kawhi Leonard LeBron James Clippers Lakers

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The Clippers beat the Lakers 112-102 in their season-opener Tuesday, as reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard finished with 30 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. 

Leonard was the only Clippers starter to finish in double-figures, but Lou Williams (21), Montrezl Harrell (17), JaMychal Green (12) and Maurice Harkless (10) combined for 60 points off the bench. They also helped limit the Lakers to 17 points in the fourth quarter.

“The Clippers have an identity,” CBS Sports HQ NBA analyst Tim Doyle said on Taz & The Moose. “Last year, they win 48 games, and it was through grit and toughness and guarding people and getting in their face. In the offseason they add Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Kawhi just fit in seamlessly.”

The Lakers, meanwhile, were a tad clunky. Danny Green hit seven three-pointers and scored a team-high 28 points, while Anthony Davis had 25 points and 10 rebounds. No other Laker, aside from LeBron James (18 points), reached double figures.

“The Lakers are working out kinks,” Doyle said. “They threw Anthony Davis the ball, and then four guys would just kind of stare at him. That’s a hard way to play basketball when there’s no movement. They’ve got some things they’re going to iron out.”

Tuesday marked a potential conference finals preview, as the Clippers and Lakers entered the season as Vegas favorites to win an NBA title. 

“There was an excitement, there was a rivalry, there was a playoff atmosphere at that game,” Doyle said. “And obviously you’re not going to get that over the course of 82 games and nearly 10 months of basketball. But that was a really cool game to watch.”

Click below to listen to Doyle’s interview in its entirety.