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LA Clippers pledged to be ready for Game 1 without Kawhi Leonard — then proved it


LOS ANGELES — Eleven times this season, the LA Clippers started a game in the afternoon. And each of those 11 times, the Clippers had a double-digit deficit at some point of the game. The Clippers came back to win six of those eleven games, including a 26-point turnaround against the Cleveland Cavaliers this month.

With Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Dallas Mavericks being a 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time start, the questions were raised about how well the Clippers would perform at a time of day where they hadn’t always performed their best. Tyronn Lue acknowledged the team’s afternoon starts and emphasized the need for them to hit the ground running.

“We can’t ease into the game,” Lue said Sunday morning. “We got to have an attack mentality on both ends of the floor. And so we don’t want to come in and try to ease into the game. And I know guys talk about a ‘feel-out game’ — no. We’re going to win the game. And so, we’re not trying to…

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