Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: James Harden. The Breakfast Defector did not play down the stretch in the Rockets comeback in Game 6 but he made his presence known from the get-go in Game 7. He dropped in 12 points in the first quarter en route to a game-high 31 points on 7-20 shooting including 15-18 from the charity stripe. When the Clippers made a run in the third quarter and cut the lead to just three, Harden responded, cutting through the lane for an emphatic dunk and then dishing one off to Smith for three on the next possession. The lead was back out to eight and the Clippers never got much closer again.
That was … shockingly awful: The Clippers went on the road and split the series 1-1 without Chris Paul. They then went home and wiped the floor with the Rockets winning by 25 and then 33 points. They led by 19 points in the third quarter of Game 6 to clinch the series and had a 97% chance to win that game. Today, after a couple of false starts, they set about making the Western Conference Finals for the first time. Instead, they made history for all the wrong reasons, squandering a 3-1 lead for just the 9th time in NBA history and losing the series. To be fair, they were never really in this one. They looked like they couldn’t believe they had to play again, were sloppy and looked wound up from the start. In some respects, the blow was softened because they capitulated over the course of three games — not just one but in terms of Clippers history this is as bad as it gets.
X factor: Pablo Prigioni. Happy birthday! On his 38th birthday, the Knicks castaway made his presence known on the defensive end. He stripped CP3 twice when he wasn’t looking and got after 50-50 balls that led to a number of back-breaking buckets for the Rockets. Yes, this really just happened.
— Roscoe Whalan
Tweet(s) Of The Game
The Clippers threw a lob to Big Baby and scored on the play. I think they should petition the league office for admittance into WCF.
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) May 17, 2015
Chris Paul: “Like Ricky Bobby said, ‘If you’re not first, you’re last.'”
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 17, 2015
I thought the Spurs taught the Clippers how to win after a tough 7 game series. I was wrong. The Clippers are still the Clippers.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 17, 2015
Chris Paul intentional foul on Dwight. https://t.co/R4P0Ow0dSl
— RealGM (@RealGM) May 17, 2015
Check Your Messages
Remember when Austin Rivers stirred the pot? Remember six days ago when the Clippers were the favorites to win the Title? Remember when the Clippers were up 3-1? Remember when the Clippers won by 33 at home? Remember when Ekpe Udoh played? Remember when Blake averaged Oscar Robertson numbers? His 180 spin move lay-up? Remember the Hamstring Game? Remember winning Game 7 against the Spurs? Remember when Spencer Hawes reemerged from captivity? Remember when Doc said Dahntay Jones would win the Clippers a game? Remember Jordan Farmar? Remember when the Clippers beat the Spurs? Remember when Matt Barnes yelled at James Harden’s mom? Remember when the Clippers silenced the critics? Remember Hedo’s t-shirt? Remember Nate? Remember when the Clippers were just minutes from the Western Conference Finals? Remember when Blake hit a three to beat the Suns? I hope so… because this one will be tough to forget.
— Roscoe Whalan