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Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Austin Rivers says Patrick Beverley had eyes on Lonzo Ball, Lakers

Patrick Beverley’s opening night performance had everyone talking, mostly because of the dominance he showed defensively against this matchup. As the LA Clippers were getting set for their “road” game at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers and their fans were getting ready for the highly-anticipated NBA debut of their No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball. The purple and gold, however, got a rude awakening in the form of Beverley, making life difficult for Ball in every minute of the 24 that he played.

A few weeks ago, Beverley tweeted out that he would be getting the first look at Ball to start the season after his father, LaVar, said that he can hold his own against Golden State Warriors’ guard Stephen Curry. While everyone knew publicly how Beverley felt about the matchup, some of his teammates hinted that there may have been a little more motivation internally.

“I mean Pat, I think he heard something early on and he put it in his brain,” said teammate Blake Griffin, who put up 29 points and 12 rebounds in the win. “That’s his mentality against everyone. It doesn’t matter if its Lonzo or whoevers next. That’s just his mentality. Pat wakes up like that. That’s what I mean when I say a lot of guys with chips on their shoulder and they play really hard. When you see someone dogging the ball like that, you have no choice but to be there for him if he does get beat, if there’s a pick, or whatever it is.”

Beverley indeed played with a chip on his shoulder the entire night and plans to the rest of the season. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Beverley held Ball to just 0-2 shooting and limited him to three assist opportunities in the 29 plays that he defended the rookie. Ball finished with just three points on 1-6 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and four assists.

“He’s been looking forward to that one,” said Austin Rivers, who played back into game action for the first time in nearly three weeks. “He’s been talking about that one for a while now so we already knew he was going to be aggressive with him. That’s what he does. He’s a defensive dog, he gets after it. Patrick was great tonight defensively and he had a couple shots as well. I think he took Lonzo out.”

No one knows what it was that pumped Beverley up even more for this game, or if he even needed it to get up for the game, but he did walk into the locker room alongside his teammates victorious and yelling “Weak a** m****rf****r!” We’ll see how Ball responds in his next game, but we certainly know how Beverley is going to respond.