Ah, so that’s why the Clippers were so high on rookie guard Eric Gordon.
After being hobbled by an ankle injury during the first two weeks of training camp, the rookie from Indiana whom the Clippers took with the seventh-overall pick in the NBA draft poured in 33 points including six 3-pointers in the Clippers comeback victory over the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night.
“I was just in a rhythm most of the game,” Gordon said. “I had a lot of opportunities to score and I was hitting my shots. We didn’t have too many of our players (only 11 of the 16 players on the roster played) so somebody had to step up and take charge.”
Gordon did that and then some, hitting 11 of the 24 shots he took in 31 minutes off the bench. He also sunk the go-ahead free throws with 1:42 to play as the Clippers rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit.
The win pushed the Clippers preseason record to a perfect 3-0, which made the long trip home from Stockton and early morning wake-up call for practice and then a golf event with season-ticket holders down at the Trump National Golf Club in Palos Verdes quite a bit more pleasant.
“I think it just shows what we as a team are capable of doing,” Gordon said.
Fellow rookie guard Mike Taylor had another standout game, with 21 points and nine assists. With Baron Davis home with the flu, Taylor, Gordon and Jason Hart played the bulk of the minutes at point guard.
It’s not the role the Clippers envision for Gordon, but one they’re happy he can play if the situation calls for it.
“I like to play the point,” said Gordon, who played point guard in high school. “I like to play at a faster tempo. And with my size, there aren’t a lot of point guards who are as big as I am.”
Also: Davis (flu), forward Tim Thomas (groin) and center Marcus Camby (heel) all sat out the two-game trip to Oklahoma City and Sacramento. Thomas said he’s feeling better, but didn’t want to rush back and do more damage to the injury.
“That’s not what’s important right now,” Thomas said of the exhibition games. “Right now the most important thing is gelling with all the new players on this team because I think we can be very good.”
Davis also attended the golf event. He wore a scarf around his neck to try and stay warm as temperatures at the golf course got chilly by evening, but said he was feeling better.
The Clippers next play the Toronto Raptors Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm. as part of a round-robin shootout with the Lakers and the Spanish club FC Barcelona.