OAKLAND -- It was difficult to tell which team held a three-games-to-two lead in the first-round playoff series between the Clippers and Golden State heading into Game 6 on Thursday night at Oracle Arena based on comments made by Warriors Coach Mark Jackson before the game.
“I’m crazy enough to believe the pressure is on the Clippers,” said Jackson, whose team needed to win to force a Game 7. “I’ve been in this situation before and it’s tough to finish a team off. We are in our building. We’ll play with passion, force and try to keep our season alive.
“What you don’t want in this situation is a Game 7 because anything can happen. So I don’t think that the Clippers come in here with the mentality they’ve got one to bury and they can go back home. So I believe the pressure is on them.”
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers seemed pleased when informed of Jackson’s remarks.
“I’m good with that,” Rivers said. “Yeah, I mean, whatever. I think the pressure is on us every night, so I’m fine with that. Pressure is good. Yeah, it’s good.”
Rivers acknowledged it was hard for young teams like the Clippers to close out series.
“I think what teams do is start thinking about that instead of the process,” Rivers said. “You have to stay focused on the process and do your job. If you do your job and stay focused on the process, the results will happen.
“But I hate when I hear guys talking about the results first, and that’s usually a recipe for disaster, honestly. So I’m hoping we do it right and do it the right way.”
Jackson didn’t seem to like it when a reporter suggested hot-and-cold Warriors star Stephen Curry should “sort of take over” the series like Michael Jordan famously did for years.
“I appreciate that question,” Jackson said, “but this just in: Steph Curry is not Michael Jordan. He’s not my Michael Jordan. He’s not anybody’s Michael Jordan. I love him to death and he’s a heck of a basketball player. At the end of the day, Michael Jordan is 6-7, freak athlete, tremendous strength, catlike quickness, the ability to maneuver, get to his spots and, in spite of great defense, shoot over them.
“Steph Curry is being trapped by a 7-foot freak athlete in [DeAndre] Jordan or a 6-10 freak athlete in Blake [Griffin] along with a big-time defender at the point guard position in [Chris] Paul and whoever. There are times he’s going to be aggressive. Then there are times he’s going to look to make plays.
“I would argue the case that being too aggressive can force turnovers also. So he’s got to use wisdom, and I have confidence that he’ll do just that.”
Curry had more turnovers (eight) than made shots (five) during the Warriors’ loss in Game 5 on Tuesday.
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