4 key takeaways from LA Clippers' dominant win over Trail Blazers

Los Angeles Clippers v Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Clippers v Portland Trail Blazers / Amanda Loman/GettyImages
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In the NBA, you can only beat the teams in front of you. Last night, the LA Clippers illustrated that fact. They handily defeated the Portland Trail Blazers.

This was no surprise. The Clippers were supposed to handle the Blazers. Nonetheless, a win is a win. The Clippers defeated Portland by a final tally of 116-103. 

""This was a swag game for us""

James Harden

Harden may be onto something. Regardless of the competition level, the Clippers looked like title contenders last night. Their fanbase is currently breathing a collective sigh of relief. 

Here are four takeaways from their dominant performance. 

1. LA Clippers need their primary playmaker 

This should not be breaking news. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are both elite three-level scorers. Neither is an especially gifted passer. This Clippers machine doesn't run properly without their engine. 

Last night, they got their engine back. James Harden had 19 points on 6/11 shooting from the field and 5/9 shooting from long range. More importantly, he finished this contest with 14 assists and 3 turnovers. 

This is exactly the version of Harden that the Clippers need. Yes, he's still a threat to score. The Clippers need Harden to leverage that gravity to set up teammates. That's exactly what Harden did last night, and the results speak for themselves.