LOS ANGELES — Before taking the court for the Clippers’ third preseason game Sunday, Tyronn Lue said he wasn’t sure what the game plan would look like.
“I might do anything, so I don’t know,” he said. But he did know something.
For starters, Lue inserted Marcus Morris Sr. and John Wall into the starting lineup with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Zubac, a move that showed promise after Morris and Wall combined on the team’s first seven points and they had 18 before halftime.
By the end, Morris Sr. finished with 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field, while Wall, who is competing with Reggie Jackson for the starting point guard role, had 20 points and three assists in a 119-117 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Crypto.com Arena.
“I want to see him (Wall) pushing the pace, getting guys easy shots, getting baskets in transition,” Lue said of his expectations for Wall. “And then defensively against DeAngelo – seeing how he guards the point of attack.”
Wall said earlier in the week that he wanted an opportunity to play with Leonard and George before Sunday’s game.
“Me as a point guard, that’s my job to figure out where guys want the ball,” Wall said. “As a point guard, I always got the ball and always get credit for myself to make plays. If it’s a real game, I’ll be in a different mode of attacking more for myself but also keeping the defense there. I’m just trying to figure things out for the preseason.”
At times, Wall showed flashes of his speed, spin moves and ball-handling skills that made him a five-time All-Star before exiting at the start of the fourth quarter. He didn’t shy away from attacking the basket, scoring in double digits on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and hitting all nine of his free throw attempts.
Morris, too, showed agility in powering to the basket. He said he dropped 10 pounds during the summer to help improve his speed.
“I’m getting a little older,” Morris said at Media Day. “I actually didn’t do the last two years of training camp because I had knee issues and I wanted to just try something different, so just cut down on my weight, and my knee just started feeling better, so trying to stay with it.”
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Planned or not, Lue extended the minutes of four of the starters. All but Leonard started the third quarter, a lineup that paired Wall with Jackson, which enabled the Clippers to stretch a 62-53 halftime lead to 75-60 less than four minutes into the third quarter.
George finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes, while Jackson and Robert Covington each contributed 11 points.
Lue said he wasn’t ready for the regular season, which starts in 10 days, but apparently felt comfortable enough with what he witnessed Sunday to let associate head coach Dan Craig handle second-half duties. Lue had said he wanted to give his assistants opportunities to help them for future head coaching jobs.
Norman Powell (sore ribs) sat out the game and is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game against Denver. He made one field goal in 18 minutes against the Trailblazers … Jason Preston (groin) also did not play. … Luke Kennard scored nine points in 19 minutes after missing Wednesday’s practice because of a mildly sprained ankle.