If there was any doubt that the first-round
The game didn't go down to the last shot but the last minute, with the Warriors taking a 109-105 victory over the Clippers and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Clippers have dug themselves a big hole by losing the opener in front of 19,339 fans at Staples Center, where Game 2 will be played Monday night at 7:30.
It wasn’t as if the Clippers didn’t have chances at the end but some uncharacteristic play by
Paul was the game's leading scorer with 28 points on 10-of-23 shooting.
The Warriors had five players in double figures:
The Clippers did get some strong play from
One player that has to turn it around for the Clippers is
The Warriors seemingly had the game in hand -- if such a thing is possible in the NBA -- with an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
After Griffin’s return the Clippers made a run, erasing a six-point deficit and tying the score at 102-102 with 2:26 to play after a basket by Paul. The Clippers then took a brief lead when
But Harrison Barnes made a three-pointer with 1:40 to play and a two-point Warriors lead. Griffin then tied the score with a couple free throws with 1:31 to play. Neither team could score on their next possession and Griffin picked up his sixth foul with 48.3 seconds to play and the score tied, 105-105.
The Clippers missed an opportunity after a steal when Collison couldn’t handle the breakaway and the Warriors took the lead with 24 seconds to play after Collison fouled
On the Clippers' next possession, Paul lost the ball in traffic near the sideline. The call originally favored the Clippers but was overturned after replay. Harrison Barnes was then intentionally fouled by
Thompson intentionally fouled Paul, who missed both free throws. Paul followed that with his fifth foul and the Clippers were done.
Well, you couldn’t say
The Warriors put on quite the offensive display, finishing the quarter with an 8-0 run that leaves the Clippers in quite a hole.
It was up to
Fouls could be an issue in the fourth quarter. Warriors forward
The Warriors opened up a four-point lead, 77-73, with 4:38 to play on back-to-back baskets by Jermaine O’Neal and
But the Warriors came back with a
And then the wheels started to come off the Clippers. The Warriors went on an 8-0 run to end the quarter. Lee sank four free throws while Thompson and O'Neal scored baskets to give the Warriors the big edge.
As great as the first quarter ended for the Clippers with a half-court shot by
Griffin only played a little more than three minutes in the first quarter because he picked up two fouls. It was clear the
The answer was mixed. Not so bad, not so good. Clearly the team missed him as more of the scoring load had to go to
After Griffin’s exit, it didn’t take long for the Warriors to go up by three points, 34-31, after a couple of three-pointers by
The lead went back and forth for the next few minutes, but with 5:46 left in the half Iguodala picked up his fourth foul, sending him to the bench. At that point Igoudala had six points and two assists.
What transpired for the next few minutes was classic playoff basketball, with each team converting most of its opportunities. A couple of Thompson free throws tied the score at 47-47 and
The Clipers took the lead with 1:02 left on a pair of three throws by Redick and Paul followed that up by making one of two free throws to give the Clippers a 52-50 lead with 44 seconds left.
The Clippers got the ball back on a five-second violation by the Warriors after a timeout with 36 seconds to play. But Paul was called for traveling. After several misses under the basket,
It was an unfortuante foul by Davis, who had been playing with a lot of hustle and energy. Davis was recently in Coach
Harrison Barnes made the two free throws and it was tied 52-52 at the half.
If you believe there are signs of things to come, then you had to like the end of the first quarter, when
It was clear early how hotly contested this series would be as each team committed an offensive foul in the first 20 seconds (
The Clippers came out strong, posting a 7-0 lead on two field goals by
Actually, the only bad thing that happened to the Clippers early was when Griffin picked up his second foul with 8:46 left in the quarter. But it wasn’t Griffin that was the problem for the Warriors, it was their shooting. They missed their first eight shots before
That basket seemed to put the Warriors into a less desperate mode as they started to whittle into the Clippers' lead, closing it to 15-10 with 5:05 to play in the quarter.
A Clippers timeout couldn’t immediately stop the Warriors, who had David Lee and
On the next possession Iguodala fouled Jamal Crawford for his third foul. Crawford made two of three free throws and Curry came back with a three pointer and the game was tied 17-17.
The rest of the quarter was pretty even, with the score getting tied at 20-20 after a
Paul led the Clippers in scoring with seven while Crawford and Jordan each had five. Curry led the Warriors with five.
It’s being billed as a grudge match but beneath all the animosty the
The L.A. Live area was packed before the rare 12:30 p.m. Saturday tipoff. The venue was sharing space with an event tied to the World Cup, which will be played in June in Brazil. And, most of the outside activity was aimed at the soccer crowd.
Still, there was an air of anticipation among the crowd inside
Or maybe the game will be decided down low where the Clippers should have a decided advantage in
Whatever the outcome, the questions will start to be answered as Game 1 gets ready to start.
For two seasons, the
Now it’ll be interesting to see if the Clippers and Warriors ratchet up that animosity when they meet in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series this afternoon at
The Warriors won the 2012-13 season series, 3-1, leaving the Clippers saying Golden State celebrated too much.
The Clippers and Warriors split the 2013-14 season series, 2-2, leaving both teams calling out the other.
Well, the Clippers and Warriors are rivals in the Pacific Division, which the Clippers won for the second consecutive season.
Now the pundits will get to see if the Clippers vs. Warriors truly becomes a rivalry.
“We’ve had good games with them, just like we’ve had good games with some other teams,” Clippers All-Star power forward