Preview: Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs in Game 3

Preview: Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs in Game 3
Blake Griffin passes around San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard during Game 2 of the Clippers-Spurs playoff series at Staples Center on April 23. (Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

The first-round playoff series between the Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs is tied at 1-1, with Game 3 in San Antonio on Friday at 6:30 p.m. PDT.

The Clippers have done well away from their homecourt this season, winning a franchise-best 26 road games, including a 20-point victory in San Antonio. Chris Paul, however, said the regular season and the playoffs are two completely different beasts.

"Totally different game in the postseason," Paul said. "You've got to go in there and you've got to win it. You've got to go take it."

In San Antonio's 111-107 overtime win in Game 2, the Clippers came back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit using a 9-0 run and had a 94-92 lead in the final minute. Then Blake Griffin committed a crucial turnover with 11.9 seconds left, and Patty Mills made two free throws for the Spurs on the other end to send the game into overtime.


The Spurs went up by as many as six points in overtime before the Clippers cut their deficit to three after Paul made a three-pointer with less than a minute left, but the Clippers couldn't complete the comeback.

After Wednesday's game, Griffin took responsibility for the loss.

"You know that game is pretty much 100% on me," he said. "I got the ball and, up two, needed to take care of it, needed to get a good shot or try to get fouled. [Instead] I turned it over, so that game is on me. That's what's on my mind."

The turnover was only one factor that contributed to the Clippers' loss. They missed 17 of 37 free throws, DeAndre Jordan making only six of his 17 shots. The Clippers' bench was outscored, 48-17. And the Spurs' Tim Duncan dominated, scoring 28 points on 14-for-23 shooting in Game 2, after having only 11 points on four-for-10 shooting in Game 1.

In the Clippers' 107-92 win in Game 1, the Clippers led by as many as 20 points as they outshot the Spurs from the field, 51.3% to 36.6%, and from three-point range, 55.6% to 30.3%. The Spurs also made only 14 of 26 free-throw attempts, for 53.8%.

Spurs' point guard Tony Parker's status was uncertain earlier in the week, but the team said Friday that he will play in that night's game. Parker had tightness in his right Achilles tendon in Wednesday's game, and was taken out with five minutes, 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

"I hope he's able to play and play well for us," Duncan said late Wednesday night. "We need him for that. He's a big part of what we do, obviously. So him not 100% hurts us."

Parker also suffered a twisted left ankle and bruised left thigh in Game 1.

Also, Sprus center Aron Baynes is doubtful with a right ankle injury.

After Wednesday's loss, Griffin chalked up the Spurs' intensity to their loss in in Game 1. The Clippers' superstar power forward said he now expects to see the same thing out of the Clippers in Game 3.

"When you lose that first game, that's all you think about, and so they came out like that," Griffin said. "They came out like that's all they thought about. They were ready to play, and I expect us to respond in the same manner."