Good three-point shooting isn’t exactly foreign to the Clippers, who entered Sunday as the league’s fourth-best team shooting from deep.
But their performance against Golden State? That was something else entirely.
Los Angeles started hot and stayed that way en route to franchise and NBA records.
The Clippers made a franchise-record 13 first-half three-pointers, on only 16 attempts, en route to a four-point halftime lead on the defending NBA champion Warriors. Their 81.2% shooting set another franchise record for the highest three-point percentage in any half with at least 10 attempts. It also set an NBA record for the highest percentage in a half among teams that had made a minimum of 13 threes, according to the league.
The barrage was led by forward Tobias Harris, whose five three-pointers marked the most he’d taken without a miss in any half of his career. Harris made the next three-pointer he took in the second half, as well, before finally missing on his seventh attempt. He finished six for seven on threes and forward Danilo Gallinari made all five of his attempts.
“The ball was moving so well they couldn’t guard you,” coach Doc Rivers said.
The Clippers finished with 18 three-pointers, tied for second-most in team history, on 23 attempts. Their 78.3% shooting is an NBA single-game record for teams with at least 15 three-point baskets or 20 attempts, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Despite their hot shooting, the Clippers attempted only seven three-pointers after halftime, which both Rivers and Harris attributed to poor ball movement and too much one-on-one play.
“Second half, including myself, I didn’t think we did a good enough job of evaluating them switching [screens],” Harris said after the 129-127 loss. “Doc talked about it at the end of the game where we should have got different guys in different positions to exploit some of those switches. Something to learn from this game.”
Harrell hits milestone
Reserve center Montrezl Harrell scored his 2,000th career point in Sunday’s third quarter, a milestone made notable because of how quickly he reached it.
The fourth-year forward hit the plateau in 3,551 minutes. Only eight other active NBA players have taken less time to reach 2,000 points, according to Elias: Vince Carter, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid and Donovan Mitchell.
Those players share the distinction of being starters, while Harrell is a career backup.
“He’s really aggressive and they do a good job of putting a lot of shooters around him,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s gotten really good at diving, catching, finishing at the rim, getting offensive rebounds and putbacks. You just have to be aware of him and keep a body on him as often as you can.”
Harrell finished with 13 points in 26 minutes.