OAKLAND – The return of the real Festus Ezeli, teased for months, finally materialized Tuesday night.
It was, by any reasonable standard, a rousing success.
Ezeli was one of seven Warriors scoring in double figures as the Warriors made their first preseason appearance at Oracle Arena with a 125-107 win over the Clippers.
With starting center Andrew Bogut sidelined by an undisclosed illness, Ognjen Kuzmic and Ezeli were left to do the heavy lifting against the Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. The two Warriors acquitted themselves, combining for 18 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Though Kuzmic started and had more impressive overall numbers (8 points, 10 rebounds, one block), Ezeli electrified the capacity crowd. He finished with 10 points (on 4-of-5) shooting, adding three rebounds and a block in 11 minutes.
Guard Stephen Curry led all scorers, with 27 points. David Lee and Justin Holiday each finished with 12, Andre Iguodala had 11, while Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green tossed in 10 apiece.
The Warriors shot 59 percent, while the Clippers – playing without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin – shot 38.6 percent. The Warriors also outrebounded LA 46-31.
STANDOUT PERFORMER: The stage was shared, compliments of Curry's shooting (including 4-of-5 3-pointers), Iguodala's all-around impact and Ezeli's energy.
TURNING POINT: After falling behind 66-64 with 9:46 left in the third quarter, the Warriors went on a 18-3 run, taking an 82-69 lead with 6:11 left in the quarter. The Clippers never really threatened after that.
INJURY UPDATE: C Andrew Bogut participated in the morning shootaround but was not at the arena. The Warriors said he was ill. G Shaun Livingston (recovering from right toe surgery) and F Brandon Rush (back spasms) are out indefinitely.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Warriors on Thursday will hold an open practice at Oracle Arena, prior to their preseason finale against the Nuggets on Friday at Oracle.