LOS ANGELES The Clippers' season opener Wednesday night was all about being home.
Lamar Odom returned home. Jamal Crawford found a new one.
Together, they were celebrating a grand start to a new season. It wasn't perfect, but there were signs the Clippers are building something good.
They beat the Memphis Grizzles 101-92 at Staples Center in a game that had the same rough-and-tumble elements of their gritty seven-game playoff series last season. Blake Griffin and Zach Randolph exchanged shoves and glares several times; elbows, arms and legs tangled frequently.
"I expected no less," Clippers guard Chris Paul said. "I told the guys before we went out that when the schedule was released and I saw this game, I was like, this sure wasn't a coincidence. We knew it would be hard-fought. We knew it would be chippy."
It was. But in the end, the Clippers relied on their bench, particularly Crawford, to pull away in the final 10 minutes.
The Clippers know they have a formidable group of...