San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Clippers
MVP:My goodness, Chris Paul must’ve had his career flash before him when he pulled his left hamstring in the first quarter. Somehow, the Clippers didn’t fall apart with him out. Paul was able to return and he put together a defining performance, with a game-high 27 points on 13 shots, including an answered prayer of a game-winner where he had to beat Danny Green from near halfcourt and flip a shot over Tim Duncan (27 points, 11 rebounds) with a second remaining. An incredible finish to an incredible game and an incredible series by an incredible player
That was … incredible: What were you expecting? These were two of the three best teams in the league! The effort was championship-worthy, with both teams shooting the ball better than they had for most of this series. You got a triple-double from Blake Griffin. You got Matt Barnes and J.J. Redick hitting big shots to begin and end the game. I don’t care that this was a first round series. It was the best sports event on Saturday, and it ended with the Clippers ending the defending champs’ season.
X factor: Jamal Crawford had struggled most of this series, but came through tonight with a bench-high 16 points on 15 shots. Crawford played 32 minutes, more than he has handled since late February, and his final bucket erased San Antonio’s last lead of the game.
— Law Murray
Tweet(s) Of The Game
The difference. pic.twitter.com/R5MDos6QZY
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) May 3, 2015
Be tough for the fight to be better than this. — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) May 3, 2015
The sheet of paper Clippers players were given before their series against the Spurs. pic.twitter.com/QPSUOvQc3M
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 3, 2015
Check Your Messages
In Matt I Trust
Let’s talk about legacy. About a veteran who comes up big when he needs to, shooting better than fifty percent and making huge plays down the stretch: key rebounds at both ends, blocked shots, and the single most important defensive play in the history of the Los Angeles Clippers, batting away a lob that in any other season of the franchise’s dismal history would have somehow found its way in. Yes, let’s talk about Matt Barnes. We heard a lot about Ginobili/Duncan/Parker’s age, but Matt Barnes is 35. Matt Barnes has recently been called “the Clippers’ version of Kendrick Perkins.” Matt Barnes has been on the trade block his entire career. And tonight he’ll be overshadowed by the way Chris Paul made Willis Reed look soft. And, despite all of that, while Leonard lay under the basket and everyone else looked around in disbelief, I found myself screaming ‘Matt Barnes is our Lord and Savior.’ Not bad, Matt. Not bad.
– J. D. Evans
It’s hard to pick a moment in a game full of them. It’s even harder when there’s six other games full of them, too. It’s hard to define an instant when amazing happened so many times. In Game Seven there were 31 lead changes (and it felt like more) but halfway through the fourth quarter the momentum seemed to have tipped San Antonio’s way; a Clippers lead had vanished, Danny Green grabbed a board, was fouled on a lay-up and stretched the lead to four. Timeout. I texted a buddy expletives about Danny Green. DJ split a pair of free throws then, Tim Duncan stretched it to five. They’re getting away. They’re going to lose and “The Hamstring Game” will be just another footnote to the Spurs legacy, I thought. Blake Griffin hit a pair of free throws and cut the deficit to three. Then, J.J. Redick — the Clippers three-point marksmen — who had run his little legs off in the series trying to get a shot off, buried a 25-foot three pointer to tie it up at 97. J.J. Redick, the three-point shooter, who couldn’t even get a shot off from behind the arc in Game 5, tied it up. Tim Duncan responded with the 58,958th lay-up of his career to take back the lead and I cringed. But J.J. wasn’t done. The guy who shot 1-5 to start the game and was just 1-5 in the previous two games from deep, buried another three to take back the lead for the Clippers. Score check? 100-99. The game was not over yet –not by any stretch of the imagination but in a series as crazy and unexplainable as this, I found solace in Lawler’s Law.
– Roscoe Whalan
Similarities All Over
It’s uncanny how much Chris Paul’s game-winner from Saturday’s Game 7 looked like the off-balance fling that went over Tony Allen’s head for a Game 2 victory in 2013’s first round against Memphis:
– Fred Katz