*(Via USA Today) – Chris Paul had 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in his Los Angeles Clippers debut and Chauncey Billups made an equally impressive first impression with his new club, scoring 23 points in a 114-95 victory over the Lakers on Monday night.
The first of two preseason games between the teams followed a dizzying two-week media frenzy in both camps, during which time the Clippers acquired Paul from New Orleans right after the league squashed a proposed three-way deal that would have sent him to the Lakers.
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Paul’s arrival came immediately after the Clippers’ acquisitions of former Laker Caron Butler as a free agent, and Billups from the New York Knicks in a waiver auction. Lamar Odom, whom the Lakers tried to peddle to New Orleans in the squashed deal, angrily demanded to be traded and was sent to the defending champion Dallas Mavericks- who swept the Lakers out of the playoffs last spring. And to top it all off, Kobe Bryant’s wife Vanessa filed for divorce on Friday.
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