A week like no other in
The winner of Game 7 plays the winner of the Oklahoma City-Memphis series, which is also tied, 3-3. Game 1 of the next round will be early next week. If Oklahoma City wins, the series will start there. If Memphis wins, it will be at Staples Center or Oakland.
It wasn't a pretty game with both teams playing ragged and out of sorts. But, in the end, despite a lot of advantages, the Clippers couldn't exploit them to their benefit.
Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal left the game early in the second quarter when he collided with Glen (Big Baby) Davis and sprained his right knee. It left the Warriors short of big men. And things didn’t get any better when power forward-turned-center
But, the Clippers still couldn't mount enough of a rally to win the game.
The Clippers did close their deficit to four points late in the fourth quarter, but a
The Clippers were able to make it a two-point game and eventually one with 1.1 seconds to play after a
Still, in the end, the game wasn't as close as the score.
Curry was the game’s leading scorer with 24 points.
Can the Clippers rally to close out the series or is the series headed back to
A spotty third quarter left a lot to be answered with neither team playing that well.
The Warriors were dealt some bad news when center Jermaine O’Neal did not come out for the second half after spraining his right knee in a collision with Clippers power forward
One Clippers big man was also missing, sort of.
The third quarter started as pretty much a mess for both teams. Warriors guard
It was as if each team was looking to make a run in the quarter but neither was playing well enough to do it.
The Warriors tied the score, 59-59, with 4:35 left in the quarter when
The Clippers were struggling just to make any shot. Things then started to unravel in the final two minutes when they fell behind by seven. But a three-pointer by
The Warriors were shooting 35% from the field and the Clippers 34%. Enough said.
The Clippers had to feel fortunate after the first half to be up by three, 51-48, given that they weren't playing that well.
The offensive rebounding was beyond bad as the Warriors held a 14-5 advantage, and when you combine that with eight turnovers you can see how lucky the Clippers are to hold a lead.
Now, the Warriors weren't exactly lighting things on fire, making only 17 of 52 shots (33%) from the field. The Clippers weren't much better with 14 of 38 (37%).
You know things are odd when
Stephen Curry was the Warriors' top scorer with 18 points.
The Warriors, already down to their backup center, were hurt even more when Glen (Big Baby) Davis crashed into the knee of Jermaine O'Neal, sending him to the locker room.
Then with 6:33 left in the quarter, Marreese Speights, the Warriors only remaining quality big man, picked up his fourth foul, sending him to the bench.
The normally reliable Clippers second team did not start the quarter well and the Warriors took a six-point lead with about three minutes gone in the quarter.
The Clippers continued to struggle to get Griffin involved in the offense, although he was the one that picked up the foul that sent Speights to the bench.
Once the starters got back into the game for the Clippers they took the lead, 36-35, after a pair of Redick free throws with 5:56 left.
The Warriors went back on top, 38-36, when Curry made a couple free throws with 5:05 to play. But a three-pointer by Redick gave the Clippers the lead again.
A Barnes three stretched the Clippers' lead to five, 44-39, but Paul picked up his third foul on the next possession and was sent to the bench.
The end of the quarter turned into a foul-shooting contest as the Warriors were fouling
If there was any question who would be the key for the Warriors in Game 6 of their playoff series against the Clippers, it was answered in the first quarter Thursday night at
And what the Clippers need to do better is get
The Clippers got off to a great start, going on a 12-3 run in the first four minutes.
With the score tied, 2-2,
But what might have been more encouraging was the strong defense being played by the Clippers.
The timeout seemed to work for the Warriors as they climbed back into the game by forcing four straight turnovers from the Clippers to close the score to 16-13. The Clippers kept trying to get back their rhythm by shooting three-pointers but that didn't work. They were only two of eight from long range with about 3 1/2 minutes to play in the quarter.
The Warriors tied the score, 16-16, with 3:28 left, forcing Clippers Coach
Things didn’t change much the rest of the quarter, which ended with a
Barnes led the Clippers with eight points.
There have been few
As Game 6 was about to tip off at
But as all this has gone on, the Clippers have managed to take a 3-2 lead in this best-of-seven series. If Golden State wins Thursday, Game 7 will be played Saturday evening at
The game seem to have echoed the mood of the teams. The Warriors won a hard-fought Game 1 at Staples. They seemed happy to get a road split and were blown out in Game 2.
Back in Oakland for Game 3, the Clippers outplayed the Warriors and took back the home-court advantage. But, in Game 4, the first one after the Sterling news broke, the Clippers were lackluster and clearly distracted. This time they were on the other end of a blow out.
The Clippers bounced back with a strong effort in Game 5, and here we are to find out if they can win the series in Game 6. The winner of the series will play the winner of the Memphis-Oklahoma City series, which appears headed for a Game 7 with the
The key players for the Clippers and Warriors tonight remain the same.
So, a close out or a winner-take-all Game 7? We'll know in a few hours.