With the regular-season opener less than a week out, Don Nelson is not going to take any chances in Friday’s exhibition finale against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. Nelson said at Thursday’s practice that he would not use center Andris Biedrins or guards Baron Davis and Kelenna Azubuike — and possibly other players as well — to ensure they don’t suffer an injury.
As for practice, it was a light crew. Davis and forward Matt Barnes were absent with the team’s permission to deal with personal matters. A team spokesman said it was a likely possibility that Barnes would not be available for tonight’s game.
Forward Brandan Wright did not practice because of a sore lower back, although he said that he expected to be able to play Friday. Azubuike started practice but left early with flu-like symptoms. Forward Al Harrington, who took a couple of hard falls against the Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday, also had a light day of work because of his sore tailbone.
– Geoff Lepper