They were the most lethal weapon the Clippers had in this first-round playoff series, the dynamic duo of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell that Golden State couldn’t contain until the moment of truth in Game 6.
Williams and Harrell combined for 18 points on seven for 28 from the field in the deciding game. The output was their lowest of the series.
They had led the Clippers in scoring in the best-of-seven series, with Williams (24.2) leading the way and Harrell (20.0) being the second best.
But Williams’ shot betrayed him in the sixth game, his three-for-21 shooting and 0 for 3 on three-pointers a painful night that saw the Clippers get eliminated from the postseason, 129-110 on Friday night at Staples Center.
“It was unfortunate I couldn’t give our fan base the performances that I was giving on the road,” Williams said. “But it happens in a game. I live and die with the shots that I take. Tonight was especially tough because it was deciding game. I wished I would have played better, but I’ll go to sleep tonight happy with the shots that I took and missed.”
The Warriors sent a wave of defenders at Williams, from Klay Thompson to Andre Iguodala. They kept bigger defenders on Williams and smothered him with two defenders whenever he drove to the basket.
And Williams just missed shots, his floaters, runners, leaners, jumpers.
“Give them credit,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “They game-planned well. We got them out of the box a couple of times in the series, but I thought they did an extremely good job. Basically whenever Lou came in, Iguodala came in. They trapped him more.
“I thought what we did smart in the last game was we made Lou a playmaker first and then a scorer. I thought Lou came in to score tonight and it kind of in some ways played in their hands. I think the credit goes to their defense.”
The Warriors crowded Harrell in the paint, limiting him to three-for-eight shooting.
“[Danilo] Gallinari got loose and he was fantastic tonight, but we controlled the other two guys pretty well,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said about Williams and Harrell. “I thought that was really important.”
Williams even lost his cool, getting hit with a technical foul with 6 minutes 50 seconds left, putting the Clippers in a 113-95 hole after Stephen Curry made the free throw.
In Game 5, Williams and Harrell combined for 28 points by the half.
But in Game 6, Williams and Harrell combined for just 10 points on a combined three-for-12 in the first half. Harrell was in foul trouble, picking up three that limited him to 9 minutes 34 seconds of action.
They had combined for 57 points in Game 5, pushing the Clippers to a victory at Oracle Arena and keeping them alive.
“Give them credit,” Harrell said. “They executed. They won.”