While the NBA pre-season can often feel redundant and unexciting, the LA Clippers and the Denver Nuggets gave fans a thriller in the pre-season opener. Both team were without their top talent, and the Clippers did not play any of their veterans beyond the first half; however, both teams got exciting performances from their young players.
Reggie Jackson started off hot for the Clippers, scoring nine points in just seven minutes before taking a seat for the rest of the night. Michael Porter Jr. had the hot hand for the Denver Nuggets, as he often does, scoring 23 points in 22 minutes. While Porter Jr. played significantly more than the Clippers' top scorers, he took a seat for the 4th quarter as well.
The final frame was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams giving the reigns to their young talent. For the Clippers, it was Terance Mann who took over. Mann scored 12 of his 14 points in the 4th quarter, and won a crucial jump ball in the final minute of play. He hit several clutch buckets that ultimately led to the Clippers pulling out a 103-102 victory.
Brandon Boston Jr. was impressive for the Clippers as well. The 51st overall pick got the start on Monday evening, and gave the team 10 points and the game-winning defensive stop. He said postgame that he woke up super excited, and Reggie Jackson told him to just have fun out there. Ty Lue was impressed with his rookie as well, telling the media that "He gives you effort every single night, and you could live with that."
Head coach Ty Lue also mentioned postgame that he was pleased with the way his team stayed engaged throughout the course of the game. While it is just the pre-season, it ultimately led to a win for the Clippers.
The Clippers next pre-season game will come on Wednesday at 7:30 PM PST against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center.