Blake Griffin, Chris Paul press onward despite subpar games

Blake Griffin talks about Clippers Coach Doc Rivers and owner Donald Sterling after the team's Game 5 win.

Chris Paul missed a lot of shots. Blake Griffin wasn't quite himself, getting in foul trouble and taking only seven rebounds in 36 minutes.

"You could see them getting tired a lot," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said, attributing it to the "emotional baggage" of the last few days.


The Clippers prevailed, though, beating the Golden State Warriors, 113-103, and taking a 3-2 lead Tuesday in their first-round playoff series. They can end it with a victory Thursday in Game 6 at Golden State.

"Blake was exhausted, you know," Rivers said, quickly adding, "I think it's because of all this stuff."

Earlier in the day, Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA by Commissioner Adam Silver.

"We have distractions all the time but the magnitude of this was a little crazy," Griffin said. "When something like this happens, you spend emotional energy just trying not to think about it and trying to say, 'OK, we're not going to let this distract us.' "

Paul thanked Clippers fans, some of whom wore T-shirts with Sterling's image crossed out. Others proudly displayed anti-racism signs that were shown on the Staples Center scoreboard.

"When we ran out for warmups, it was one of the most emotional things I think I've ever been a part of," Paul said. "We have a tough locker room and all of us are tough but it almost brought tears to your eyes just to feel the support from our fans."

The Clippers were fortunate to have center DeAndre Jordan come up with one of his biggest games ever. He had 25 points, 18 rebounds and four blocked shots.

"He was huge," Griffin said. "I've never seen him play a game like that from start to finish. Offensively, defensively he was great."

It also helped to have a bench that outscored the Warriors' reserves, 36-19. Jamal Crawford had 19 points and Darren Collison added 15 for the Clippers.