LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers picked up right where they left off last season by taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in their season opener after falling to Oklahoma City in last season's Western Conference semifinals. The similarities between this season and last season's matchup, however, ended with the team names on the marquee, with the Thunder finishing the 93-90 Clippers win with a shell of the roster that beat Los Angeles last season.
Moment of the game: DeAndre Jordan came up big at the end of the game with the Clippers holding on to an 89-88 lead. He first defended and stole the ball from Steven Adams, and then after Chris Paul missed two free throws, he blocked Sebastian Telfair's shot in the paint. Blake Griffin ended up hitting both his free throws as the Clippers held on for the win.
The game turned when Russell Westbrook was forced out with an injured right hand midway through the second quarter. The Thunder were already playing without Kevin Durant, Reggie Jackson, Anthony Morrow and Jeremy Lamb and Westbrook's absence left the Thunder with only eight healthy bodies and without their two best players. The game was back and forth with the Thunder leading by as many as eight points before Westbrook's injury. With Westbrook out, the remaining Thunder did their best but simply could top the Clippers.
"Hardcore" award of the game: New Clippers owner Steve Ballmer promised to be "hardcore" when he bought the team and certainly lived up to that in his first regular season. He was a bundle of energy and could not sit still. He got up and cheered after every play and walked over to talk to fans during every stoppage. He sat next to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, hugged singer Fergie and took photos with her and chatted up hip-hop artist/actor Common. The only person he might not have greeted was "Clippers Number One Fan" Shelly Sterling, who was sitting courtside across from him.
Stat of the night: One of the big storylines for the Clippers coming into the season was their inability to control the board, and they once again struggled against an injury-depleted Thunder team, getting outrebounded 47 to 33.
Players of the game: Chris Paul finished with 22 points, seven assists and four rebounds while Blake Griffin finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Jamal Crawford added 16 points off the bench.