Here are five takeaways from the Clippers’ embarrassing 144-98 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
1. Even Clippers Coach Doc Rivers found his team in a mental stupor during the beat-down by the Warriors in a nationally televised game.
“It’s funny. At halftime I asked our guys, ‘What do you think is hurting us?’ And they said the three,” Rivers said. “I said: ‘You got to be kidding me. We’re even. We’re eight for 13 and they were eight for 13.’ It’s amazing about the mental thing when they make a three.
“[Stephen] Curry had to make a half-court shot to tie us in threes made. But they had 46 points in the paint. The paint is what killed us tonight. Their drives, their cuts, their layups and our guys are still thinking about the three-point shot. That didn’t hurt us. It did later. But in the first half, it was all their layups.”
Rivers was correct. The Clippers and Warriors both were eight-for-13 (61.5%) from three-point range in the first half.
And the Warriors did have their way against the Clippers in the paint in the first 24 minutes, scoring 42 points.
2. The Clippers played no defense at all against Golden State in what they all called an embarrassing loss. The Clippers allowed the Warriors to make 62% of their shots, 50% of their three-pointers.
It was like the Clippers were standing around watching the Warriors put on a show they had been invited to.
There was a stretch in the second quarter in which the Clippers were down by just 10 points.
But then the Warriors exploded on the Clippers’ porous defense, scoring 17 points over a two-minute, 38-second stretch.
The next thing the Clippers knew, they were down by 21 points going into the first half.
“I just didn’t like how we played overall,” Rivers said. “I thought in the first half we kept fighting back and fighting back and then that last stretch, the last three minutes before the second quarter ended, I thought really killed us. We had cut it back to eight, cut it back to 12 and then I think they got back up by 20 and I thought that kind of broke our spirit.”
3. As a team, the Clippers had a minus-46, which obviously doesn’t bode well for a team. J.J. Redick had the highest – or lowest, depending on how one looks at it – plus-minus at minus-38. And to think Redick had 13 points on four-for-eight shooting, three-for-five on three-pointers. But he did have four turnovers.
Blake Griffin was a minus-34. Griffin finished the game with 20 points.
4. DeAndre Jordan is usually the most energized player on the Clippers, the one who pushes them to play defense. But even Jordan wasn’t on his game against the Warriors.
He had entered the game leading the NBA in rebounds, averaging 14.0 per game.
But Jordan had just five rebounds against the Warriors, never showing the high-intensity of his normal activity on the boards.
Jordan did travel to Houston for a friend’s funeral last week and got back just in time for practice last Friday.
5. Clippers forward Marreese Speights got some cheers from the fans at Oracle Arena. They remembered him for helping the Warriors win the NBA championship in 2015. Speights, who played three seasons for the Warriors, had just five points and three rebounds in the game Saturday.