Los Angeles Clippers
Recap | Box score
Golden State Warriors
MVP: Chris Paul. He had 42 points, 15 assists and 6 steals in what was arguably his most impressive performance as a Clipper. The Point God dissected the Warriors’ defense at will and defended Stephen Curry about as well as you can.
Defining moment: In an insane 32-second sequence, Paul connected with Griffin for three consecutive jaw-dropping lobs. The Clippers’ lead stretched to 18 points, the crowd became engaged and Golden State was never able to recover.
Well that was… a shootout: Paul and Curry (38 points, 9 3-pointers, 9 assists) had a good ol’ fashioned point guard duel to the delight of NBA fans everywhere. Paul ultimately had the better performance, though, as Currys 11 turnovers proved costly to the Warriors’ comeback.
— Jovan Buha
Not 1, Not 2…
Foot Down, Man Down
Tweet(s) of the Game
Doc on his coaching strategy when a guy is as hot as Thompson was on Wed: “We call it, ‘Feed the Pig,’ because when it’s going he’s hungry.”
— Kevin Arnovitz (@kevinarnovitz) November 1, 2013
J.J. Redick didn’t star in the Better Basketball videos for the hair gel section.
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) November 1, 2013
Blake Griffin dunks thrice, Mark Jackson is unimpressed https://t.co/aoSwYzvWea
— Conrad Kaczmarek (@ConradKazNBA) November 1, 2013
Clips have averaged 1.09 points per Warriors turnover. Curry’s averaging 1.76 points per shot. So, yeah, he’s making up for mistakes.
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) November 1, 2013
I can only imagine how much the Clippers and Warriors would hate each other by the end of a 7-game playoff series.
— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) November 1, 2013
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Ethan Sherwood Strauss guests and the gang talks about if Warriors and Clippers fans were ever really meant to get along.
Check Your Messages
Griffin and Lee, Points Aplenty
When you think about a Clippers vs. Warriors game, a number of compelling storylines come to mind: a mid-career Chris Paul vs. the “Splash Brothers” (still not sure about that nickname), two athletic, high-scoring, Pacific Division teams angling for playoff position – even the coaching matchup is an interesting contrast of two ’90s-era guards molding young teams in their own image. What rarely gets the spotlight is the battle between two All-Star power forwards: Blake Griffin vs. David Lee, mano-a-mano.
For most of tonight’s game, Griffin and Lee guarded one another, and each did little to slow the other down. Their respective strengths (Griffin’s brawn and speed, Lee’s length) almost seem tailor-made to take advantage of such an opponent. Of course, Blake’s highlight block of Lee’s layup notwithstanding, neither one is a defensive savant. Griffin finished with 23 points on 9-for-12 shooting, including the Lob City jamboree that occurred while Lee sat with foul trouble. Lee scored 22, mostly in the first half.
At some point, it will be incumbent on Blake to slow offensive-minded forwards like Lee, Zach Randolph and LaMarcus Aldridge. He doesn’t have to stop them – especially if DeAndre Jordan follows through on his defensive promise – just make it more difficult for them to score, without fouling. Through two games, Griffin is averaging 37 minutes. That’s more time to contribute offensively, put pressure on the defense and raise his stats, but it’s also more time spent defending his position. Hopefully it’s time well spent.
– Luke Laubhan
Skill Development: +1 Aggression, +1 Energy
At around the 2:42 mark of the third quarter, the score was 91-75 and the momentum was clearly in the Clippers’ favor after a multi-consecutive Lob City display. For a team that has been known the past two years to coast through certain parts of games, you would think that the Clippers would get a little comfortable—feeling they had nothing more to prove today.
But Byron Mullens had just missed a 3-pointer, and Toney Douglas reeled in a rebound. As Douglas brought up the ball, he found the pesky hands of Chris Paul coming from behind, who was hunting for his sixth steal at the time. Paul dove out of bounds for the ball in hopes of manufacturing a turnover out of thin air. This is a play normally relegated to high-energy players who play with reckless abandon and/or are trying to prove their worth to the team.
The Paul that we have normally seen on the Clippers has been calculated in how he expends his energy throughout a regular-season game. Paul would not end up getting his sixth steal until later, but he was proving something else. This wasn’t just about the embarrassing loss to the Lakers on Tuesday or the brewing Warriors-Clippers rivalry. Under his leadership, the Clippers would not let up and maintained their ironclad grip on this game because this is what focused and disciplined teams do.
– Davis V
Don’t Call It a First
Tonight wasn’t the first time Chris Paul threw alley oops to a teammate for three straight scores. Actually, it happened back in January. Take it away, DeAndre:
– Fred Katz
The Clippers should approach their regular season as an experiment to understand the team’s chemistry. A team’s talent level combined with the coach’s strategic acumen yields a range of possible regular season outcomes, and for the Clippers, that range is somewhere in the uppermost parts of the Western Conference. If they could control who their matchup would be come the playoffs, sure, go ahead, expend as much energy trying to win every game you can. But when the playoffs come, the characteristics that are rewarded in the regular season just don’t mean as much.
Most of the time, coaches and players think about the short term because that’s what they’re supposed to think about. If I make this next shot, we would be winning this game. If I hold onto this lead, we would win this game. If we win five more games, we would clinch a playoff spot. But these Clippers don’t need to concentrate on short-term goals in order to be successful. They have the luxury of sacrificing short-term success for long=term success because, as they proved tonight, they’ve got the goods. The limited effort against the Lakers looks like an aberration, with tonight representing a more accurate display of the Clippers talent.
Shortcomings will appear as the season goes on, but when Doc Rivers kept DeAndre Jordan on the floor when the game was still in reach of a Stephen Curry explosion, he made it clear that he was playing the long game. The new Clippers coach is happy to forgo a few made free throws for a roster that’s ready for the challenges come Memorial Day, not just the frightening possibility of an 0-2 Halloween.
– Michael Shagrin
Better Call Paul
In typical Chris Paul fashion, what could be controlled was controlled. The Warriors threw an underrated defender in Klay Thompson at him. No dice. Then they threw maybe the league’s best defender in Andre Iguodala at him, too, and yet still, Paul’s greatness shined through every crack in the Warriors defense.
Paul was more than beating his man – he was exploiting him. This was John Stockton with a streak for scoring, with the same flair for a well-timed flop, with the same nastiness that allows a 6-foot-1 guy to plant a forearm in the chest of a giant and rather ornery Australian man on a cross-screen.
This was two stars in the prime of their careers turning the other eight players on the court into unintelligible blurs. You watched Paul, and then you watched Curry, and everything else was a distraction. Paul, then Curry. Curry, then Paul. And back and forth it went until it came to a close, all while you were wishing that it didn’t have to stop so soon. – D.J. Foster, for ProBasketballTalk.com
Night Of The Living Lob In Los Angeles
Griffin’s intentions to shake Lob City are noble. No team or superstar wants to be a novelty act in a league where rewards are usually reserved for the serious. Taking pride in a catch phrase is indulgent if it’s not backed up with success in spring. Yet the Clippers are at their best when they leverage the playmaking of Paul with the athleticism of Griffin and Jordan, something that was at work in full force in the Clippers’ first win of the season.
Paul’s output was prolific — 42 points, 15 assists, six steals — and historic. No player had done that since steals were first recorded in the 1973-74 season, though after the game Paul wouldn’t deign to take any pride in the accomplishment. Afterward, the only digit he’d acknowledge in his statline was his six turnovers.
– Kevin Arnovitz, for ESPN.com