Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors
MVP: Klay Thompson. Often miscast as solely a shooter, Thompson added 7 rebounds, 5 assists and stellar defense on Chris Paul to his 22 points. With Stephen Curry struggling and Andre Iguodala in foul trouble, the Warriors needed someone to step up and Thompson did.
Defining moment: Draymond Green grabbed an offensive rebound off a Curry jumper and was quickly fouled by Darren Collison with 24 seconds left. His ensuing free throws sealed the game and epitomized the Dubs’ second-half rally.
That was … a slugfest: Talk about a letdown. This series was billed as the most entertaining to watch, but 51 fouls and 60 free throws slowed the game’s pace to a crawl. If not for 21 combined 3-pointers and some late-game drama, this would’ve been a snore.
– Jovan Buha
Tweet(s) Of The Game
If every Jamal Crawford shot attempt came with a foul and a buzzer, he'd be like a 90% shooter.
— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) April 19, 2014
Redick's way of springing free of Iguodala's defense is fouling him out of the game
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 19, 2014
Man people really turned on CP3. He was the hero before those missed FTs
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 19, 2014
Doc: "I think the hype did have an impact on how the game was called."
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 19, 2014
Chris Paul just took a shot at Steph Curry's defense: "I'm running around guarding Steph, and he's resting on the other end."
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) April 19, 2014
The Depth Charge
|Ryan Hollins, C||1||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Hedo Turkoglu, PF||4||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||-3||0|
|Big Baby, PF||22||3-4||0-0||0-0||1||5||6||3||3||0||0||1||-4||6|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Fred, Seth and Patrick are joined by Jack Winter to discuss the Clippers’ defensive game plan against the Stephen Curry, Chris Paul’s crunch-time play and Blake Griffin’s foul trouble.
Check Your Messages
Free-Throw Role Reversal
When Mark Jackson went to Deck-a-DJ, DeAndre Jordan promptly sunk both free throws. With LAC trailing 105-103, Blake Griffin also converted both freebies to tie the game. On the other hand, Chris Paul and Darren Collison, both 86-percent free-throw shooters, missed key free throws down the stretch. Weird.
- Aaron Fischman
Pick Your Poison
The Clippers put most of their defensive focus on stopping Stephen Curry, which is no surprise. However, the way they went about shutting down the knockdown shooter created big problems of their own.
Almost every Curry pick-and-roll was trapped, but being the excellent passer that he is, Curry got the ball out of these spots and gave Golden State a 4-3 advantage. Even with Andre Iguodala in foul trouble and Andrew Bogut out, Curry’s teammates managed to find good shots and easy buckets with a few on-point passes.
The Clippers went as far as to rotate from the opposite end of the court to make sure Curry doesn’t get a look. On one first quarter play, Curry was running off a couple of screens and both Matt Barnes and J.J. Redick ran over to deny a shot. One cross-court pass hit Klay Thompson wide open from the elbow three.
While stopping, or at least slowing down, Curry is a must for Los Angeles, Doc Rivers might have to consider going with more conservative scheme to do so.
- David Vertsberger
Big Baby’s Resilience
Glen “Big Baby” Davis’ play during the Clippers’ fourth-quarter run stood out today. His active play and relentless energy, especially on defense and on the boards, seemed to be the game-changing catalyst. Had the Clippers not made some key mistakes down the stretch (namely from Darren Collison, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul), they would’ve likely violated Lawler’s Law tonight, and Davis would have been the primary perpetrator.
- Aaron Fischman
The Clippers had to work hard to erase an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit, and with Golden State’s allergic reaction to getting to the free throw line, Los Angeles was able to pull it off. They held a 103-102 lead with less than two minutes left when Stephen Curry was met by Blake Griffin outside the no-charge zone and had his layup attempt blocked from behind by Darren Collison. Chris Paul scooped up the loose change and was headed to the basket hard.
And that’s when the comeback effectively ended.
Paul had trailers in Collison and J.J. Redick, but the spacing on the break was less than ideal, allowing Harrison Barnes to play the ball while being in position to contest anything to Redick or Collison. Paul tried to use his body to angle his layup against the glass like he always does, but the length and athleticism was too much to overcome. Collison was too short to secure the carom, and Klay Thompson came away with the transition rebound while Paul and Collison were floored under their own basket. Redick rode Thompson into the frontcourt, but Barnes came back above the break and nailed a three to give the Warriors a 105-103 lead. The Clippers wouldn’t make a field goal or regain the lead again.
The Clippers have been great at defending the three all season, but they allowed the Warriors to hit 11-of-27 (41 percent). There were more “what-if” plays at the end of the game; too many to count, really. But this particular lack of execution on the break robbed the Clippers not only of their best chance to extend the lead, but it cost them their last lead entirely by allowing Barnes to get a free shot in transition. Every team makes a run at some point, but the goal is to keep the run going when you hit it. Harrison Barnes’ sequence crippled the Clippers late in a game that neither team can say they played very well.
- Law Murrary
Less Is More
Jared Dudley (didn’t play), Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Hollins combined for a little over four minutes. Besides them, the Los Angeles Clippers ran nine-deep, playing a just activated Danny Granger for 12 minutes. Depth is excellent for the regular season, especially given the daunting schedule and numerous injuries.
However, with every quarter, minute, shot, and rotation heavily judged in every do-or-die game, it’s perhaps time to play only the best. Or Blake Griffin could simply avoid ticky-tack fouls. That always works.
- Andy Liu
Since his arrival in Los Angeles, the Clippers have relied very heavily on Chris Paul to create in the clutch. And he has made so many spectacular plays in such situations that Clipper fans have come to treat them as routine. It was rather a shock, then, to see him have a few uncharacteristic issues in the waning minutes of the game. He had a layup blocked by Harrison Barnes, dribbled the ball out of bounds (on what admittedly could have been called a foul), missed two crucial free throws with the Clippers down three, and then was unable to help secure a rebound that could have given the Clippers another chance to tie the game.
It was a heartbreaking game all around for Clippers fans, but to see rhe Point God regressing to the mortal mean when his superhuman skill was needed most was a real shock. But this game wasn’t lost in the last two minutes alone, and Paul does deserve credit for keeping the Clippers in it for much of the game. Still, it was a surprising turn of events, and the Point God left the court shaking his head. We will see how vengeful he is in Game 2.
- Ben Mesirow
Rivalry Gone Bad
In the past two seasons, there has clearly been bad blood between the Warriors and the Clippers, and so when these two teams were matched up for playoffs, excitement brewed. With all the potential superstar power, 3-point shooting, and technical fouls, the Warriors-Clippers series was going to be one of the most exciting match-ups in the first round. The NBA is in its best shape when all their best players are competing against one another, which is why the playoffs are such an exciting time. By creating dichotomies of heroes and villains, rivalries enhance the entertainment value of games for fans. This quickly took a turn for the worst when it was reported that Andrew Bogut would be out indefinitely with a fractured rib. Despite this, the trash talking had begun prior to game one, and with so much at stake, it seemed like this matchup was still going to push the Warriors-Clippers rivalry into another level.
Yet, the Warriors-Clippers hype and rivalry potentially had an adverse effect on today’s game. It is very possible that today’s game was called tightly on both ends in order to keep tempers in check. Whether warranted or not, foul trouble kept Blake Griffin and Andre Igoudala had limited appearances in this highly anticipated game. The result was an unexpectedly grueling game from two high-pace teams, a Warriors win, and perhaps most frustrating, a postponement of the game that we all wanted to see.
- Davis Vo