It was three quarters of Lob City vs. Lob City East and a fourth quarter of LeBron James vs. the Clippers at the free throw line. There was also a 43-point game and another near-missed triple double — all under the bright lights of Hollywood.
The game was once again advertised as a possible NBA Finals preview, but it could have been billed as a prelude to All-Star weekend. And judging from the crowd’s “ooh’s and ahh’s,” this type of excitement would be welcomed come June. Because for as nail-biting as last year’s San Antonio Spurs series was, the pace was pretty boring, which would be different if these up-tempo teams found a way to meet.
And although both matchups have been borderline blowouts — for most of the game — the back and forth action supplied us with instant wow moments.
The ball movement was crisp as everyone made quick decisions. We saw late-clock heaves drop and active hands that lead to almost an entire game played above the rim. We were even treated to Chris Andersen sacrificing himself to block a Blake Griffin alley-oop that could have landed him on some kid’s Fathead poster.
It may not have been a classic, but it was enjoyable enough to have us looking forward to the future.
“They’re good and we’re good,” Rivers said via ESPN Los Angeles. “And we’d like to see them again. I think everyone in this room would be happy with that.”