The Clippers didn’t need extra motivation going into their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors. They knew they were underdogs as the eighth-seeded team, but, according to Las Vegas sportsbooks, they were the biggest underdogs in an NBA playoff series in more than 30 years with 100-to-1 odds to pull the upset.
Improbably, the Clippers have won two games in Oakland, including a historic 31-point comeback in Game 2, to force a Game 6 in Los Angeles on Friday night. The Clippers, however, believe no one is giving them a chance to force a Game 7 on Sunday and are using two examples as motivation going into the game.
The team found out that the Houston Rockets were traveling to the Bay Area on Friday to get a head start on Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals presumably against the Warriors. The Clippers and Rockets stay at the same hotel in San Francisco when they play Golden State. When the Clippers called the hotel Thursday morning to confirm arrangements for a possible Game 7 against the Warriors on Sunday, they were informed that the Rockets were staying there in preparation for an expected series against the Warriors.
Houston plans to watch Game 6 of the Clippers-Warriors series at their hotel, practice at Oracle Arena on Saturday morning and take on the Warriors at 12:30 p.m. PST Sunday.
The Clippers received further bulletin board material from an internal NBA email outlining the TV schedule for the conference semifinals that included Game 1 of the Western Conference series between the Rockets and Warriors on Sunday, complete with the announcers, producer and director. If there is a Game 7 for the Clippers-Warriors series, the email said it would be the same television crew and game time in Oakland.
There was no matchup prediction or crew selected for Game 1 of the other Western Conference semifinals, which starts Monday night between the Portland Trail Blazers and the winner of the San Antonio Spurs-Denver Nuggets series Game 7 on Saturday night, because the second-seeded Nuggets would host the Trail Blazers while seventh-seeded San Antonio would travel to Portland.