For Clippers, missed chances and a second shot

Chris Paul couldn't stop watching the play.

Once. Twice. Again. Another time.

It bothered him that he didn't make the right call in a late three-on-one, getting his shot blocked by Harrison Barnes instead of passing to J.J. Redick.

That didn't even compare with the two free throws he missed with 11 seconds left in the Clippers' 109-105 loss to Golden State in Saturday's playoff opener.

Long night for Paul. Long Sunday too.

"I looked at it, I think, six different times [Sunday] morning," Paul said of the missed three-on-one chance.

He picked up some vindication a day later, when the NBA ruled that he should have been awarded two free throws after being fouled by Draymond Green. With 18,9 seconds left in the game, the foul was not called. The play resulted in a Clippers turnover, Paul losing the ball out of bounds.

He rolled his eyes at a reporter Sunday when told about the NBA's ruling, not even needing to say the obvious — the Clippers still shouldn't have lost at home to the undermanned Warriors.

They get another chance Monday at Staples Center. It's kind of important.

The franchise that has never made it past the second round probably won't get out of the first if it loses Game 2. The Clippers have lost their last five games at Golden State, where Games 3 and 4 will be held.

Except for the final two minutes Saturday, Paul played well — 28 points, eight assists, seven rebounds.

"You can't put that [loss] on him. Or on the last minute," Blake Griffin said. "We all made our mistakes, we all messed up."

Griffin would know.

He fouled out with 48 seconds left, playing only 19 minutes because of serious foul trouble. Of course he'll be more careful in Game 2. Unless Coach Doc Rivers talks to him.

"Blake needs to play even more intense and even more aggressive. I actually thought two of his fouls came from not trying to foul," Rivers said. "He was trying to stay out of the way where on both of those he should have rotated earlier, like he was supposed to, but he was so concerned about fouls."

Meanwhile, many of the Warriors players went to Easter services Sunday at the Van Nuys church where their coach, Mark Jackson, is a pastor.

After some of the players came straight from church to the UCLA gym where the Warriors practiced, reporters were ushered out so players could change out of suits and into basketball attire, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

"Coach, obviously that's an important part of his life," All-Star guard Stephen Curry said. "And the fact that he's comfortable enough to invite his team to his second or maybe his first home in the grand scheme of things, and allow us to come celebrate Resurrection Sunday is huge.

"Definitely different. Probably the most unique situation in the NBA," Curry said. "But it's definitely fun."

The Warriors aren't expected to get Andrew Bogut back from a fractured rib Monday. What they are expecting is a big push from the Clippers.

"We're playing against an outstanding basketball team that presents a lot of challenges," Jackson said. "It's far from over."

The Clippers are now 2-3 against the Warriors this season.

They'll need to take advantage of Bogut's absence by scoring down low, which they didn't do Saturday, with DeAndre Jordan committing seven turnovers.

And they'll need to make do better than making 23 of 35 free throws (65.7%).

"That's huge. I was three for six," Paul said. "Those little things. That's not us."

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

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