Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors
MVP: For as unstoppable as Blake Griffin was offensively, tonight was about DeAndre Jordan’s dominance. The human pogo stick tallied his best game of the series with 14 points, 22 rebounds and five blocks. He’s looked like a man among boys and has pushed around whomever the Warriors have thrown at him.
Defining moment: Draymond Green’s flagrant foul on Griffin. The play symbolized Green’s toughness and defensive effort, and helped spark a 10-3 run that snowballed into a massive comeback. If not for the hard hit, this game might have been a rout.
That was … too close to call: Stephen Curry’s 3-point heave to win the game fell short, in large part because of Chris Paul’s stellar on-ball defense. But was it a foul? The replay showed Paul’s hand made contact with Curry’s elbow, but no call was made.
– Jovan Buha
Tweet(s) Of The Game
They're just not as good
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 25, 2014
Chris Paul is such a glorious bastard. Shoved Draymond Green on that last drawn foul and then went over to hang out near the ref.
— Rob Mahoney (@RobMahoney) April 25, 2014
Blake Griffin: 1st Clippers player with consecutive 30-point playoff games since Elton Brand (4 straight in 2006)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 25, 2014
DeAndre Jordan's 22 rebounds tie Bob McAdoo for the Clippers playoff franchise record.
— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) April 25, 2014
— Max Frishberg (@MaxaMillion711) April 25, 2014
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) April 25, 2014
(Peep the caption of the below photo on Instagram.)
The Depth Charge
|Ryan Hollins, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Hedo Turkoglu, PF||4||0-2||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||+1||0|
|Big Baby, PF||12||2-2||0-0||0-0||1||0||1||1||0||0||1||1||+1||4|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Fred and Jack Winter talk Chris Paul’s defense and digress into extended ’90s boy band analysis.
Check Your Messages
Livin’ and Dying
Let’s cut to the chase: the Clippers aren’t going to be shot out of the playoffs by the Warriors. The playoffs are about identifying what a team does well and taking it away. The Warriors have two guards that combined to make over 400 three-pointers this season. Los Angeles has the exterminators out on the arc. It’s easy to trust the scheme when you played a whole season and allowed the worst opponent three-point percentage.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined to shoot 5-for-19 from downtown in Game 3. The Warriors as a team shot 6-for-31 (19 percent), featuring a cool 1-for-11 from the bench (9 percent). That ain’t good. Now, the Warriors did win two of three games this season in which they shot under 20 percent from three, and they came a field goal away from extending the game or better. But those regular season wins didn’t feature a team shooting more than 30 threes. The Clippers are taking advantage of a stubborn group of shooters.
Now, there is one thing the Warriors’ guards may look at, and in turn, something the Clippers should be prepared for: Curry and Thompson combined to make 10-of-15 shots inside the arc. Maybe, just maybe, the Warriors will stop overdosing beyond the arc and challenge the L.A. perimeter defense with drives to the basket. So far, all of these three-point attempts are playing right into the Clippers’ plans.
- Law Murray
Shelden Williams is mostly remembered in NBA circles for being the guy drafted right ahead of Brandon Roy, but during his time at Duke, he acquired one of the great nicknames in recent memory. Because of his ability to own the paint and the glass, he was known as The Landlord.
Tonight, DeAndre Jordan was the walking embodiment of all that title conveys. He rebounded, 22 times. He blocked shots, five tonight to match his total from each of the first two games. But more importantly, he controlled that most valuable real estate around (and even above) the rim. In addition to the shots he blocked or altered, he discouraged. His mere presence was enough to intimidate Stephen Curry into dribbling through the lane, under the rim and out to the other side to shoot a baseline fallaway rather than attempt a layup. Andre Iguodala left himself hanging in the air with no real options other than to desperately heave the ball out to the wing once he decided going over, around or through DJ wasn’t on the cards. And when Harrison Barnes did attempt to be the aggressor, he was sent packing with extreme prejudice.
The stats will show this game was won because of the Warriors inability to hit from long range, where they shot 6-of-31. But the confidence to crowd, harass and sprint out to shooters came from the rest of the Clippers knowledge and belief that if their zealousness to deny the longball did lead to a drive, DeAndre Jordan was all the security they needed.
- Seth Partnow
The Warriors’ Game 1 victory screwed with expectations a bit. We all knew the caveats of that win, but still, it hung over the Clippers like the stench of a dead animal. The Clippers can’t lose in the first round again … can they? These sorts of questions seeped into the basketball-sphere’s conversation, based on the one-game sample. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan looked lost on their interior rotations, Chris Paul was hounded by Klay Thompson, and Steph Curry hadn’t even caught fire yet.
Five days later, we’ve been reminded of the facts evidenced by the 82-game regular season. The Warriors are a mediocre offensive team missing their second-best defensive player. The Clippers had the second-best SRS in the league. Los Angeles is just better. Not 40 points better, but good enough to beat the Warriors on a night like tonight when the Dubs played their optimal one-big lineup almost the entire game. There’ll be off shooting nights from players on both sides, some missed calls, and strange missed bunnies. That stuff evens out over the course of a series. Golden State may yet have some magic up their sleeves, but as of now, the evidence is clear: the Clips are just better at basketball than the Warriors.
- Jacob Frankel