Round 1, Game #1 | April 19, 2014
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA

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LOS ANGELES – All season the Clippers have seemingly found a way to win on their home floor and on an afternoon when the crowd was at its loudest and arena was engulfed in red, they needed to do it once again.

They trailed by 11 points in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of their opening round Playoff series against the Golden State Warriors. And despite coming back to take the lead, they did not score in the final 1:31, falling, 109-105, at Staples Center.

After Darren Collison gave the Clippers a one-point lead with 2:10 to go, the Warriors outscored them 9-2 to close the game, stealing home-court advantage less than seven hours after the start of the postseason.

“I just didn’t think we played great,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “I thought we played hard and I thought we came to win the game, but I thought there were a lot of times where we lost our trust in as far as what we were doing. We made too many mistakes to win the game.”

Chris Paul had 28 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals. But turned the ball over with 24 seconds left after dribbling the ball out of bounds and missed two free throws in the final seconds that could have cut it the deficit to one.

DeAndre Jordan added 11 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots in 44 minutes. J.J. Redick scored a career-postseason high 22 points. And Blake Griffin had 16 points.

Griffin, though, was limited to just 19 minutes, battling foul trouble all afternoon before finally fouling out with 48 seconds to go. Fouls and missed free throws plagued the Clippers. They committed 24 personal fouls and missed a dozen foul shots, including several in the fourth quarter.

“It was a little bit tough,” Griffin said. “I know in the third quarter there I got in somewhat of a rhythm, but I kept putting myself in a hole, in a bad situation.”

It spoiled a 12-1 start by the Clippers and a 15-4 run in the fourth quarter to regain the lead. The run included two free throws from DeAndre Jordan, who was intentionally fouled with the Warriors ahead by three, a pair of 3-pointers from Chris Paul and multiple stops on the defensive end for the first time since the opening minutes.

Paul missed a transition layup that could have put the Clippers ahead by three and Harrison Barnes answered seconds later with a 3-pointer from the left wing. A possession later, Griffin tied the game at 105 with two free throws. But even after the Clippers earned the ball back, forcing a 24-second violation with 1:07 left, they would not score again.

Griffin missed a layup and then fouled out on a reach in and Paul stole the ball from Klay Thompson on the next possession but threw the ball too far ahead of Collison, giving it back to the Warriors. Curry missed a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left, but Draymond Green drew a rebounding foul on Collison. He converted both free throws. 

The Clippers finished the game shooting 42.4 percent from the floor, were outrebounded by six and turned the ball over 17 times. They also gave up 25 second-chance points.

“The mental and emotional side of basketball is huge,” Redick said. “We were able to get back in the game down the stretch. But we probably didn’t execute as best as we could in those last two minutes.”

The Warriors missed their first eight shots and trailed 12-1 until a jumper by Stephen Curry with 7:37 left in the first quarter. But the Clippers could not maintain their early double-digit lead. It evaporated over the course of the quarter, and even after Crawford banked in a half-court shot at the first-quarter buzzer they were up just five.

But Griffin’s absence accompanied by 60 foul shots combined and numerous stoppages in play for replay reviews and television timeouts made the things feel disjointed throughout.

“We could have won this game. It would’ve been nice,” Paul said. “But we still would’ve said there were a lot of things we should’ve done better.”


Danny Granger played 13 minutes after sitting out the past nine games with a strained left hamstring. He finished with three points… David Lee scored a career-postseason high of 20 points. He also had 13 rebounds… Glen Davis had six points, six rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes, mostly in reserve of Griffin… The Clippers lost just seven times at Staples Center in the regular season… The Clippers have never won a postseason series after losing Game 1… Golden State shot 11-for-27 (40.7 percent) from 3-point range… Thompson had 22 points… Jamal Crawford was 2-for-11 with nine points and three assists… Two rarities occurred for the Clippers. They lost when making more than nine 3-pointers (10-for-22) and scoring 104 points or more.



RE: Overall thoughts on today’s game

“We didn't play very well. We were in foul trouble most of the game. Blake [Griffin] played 19 minutes. Chris [Paul] was in foul trouble, but he still played a ton of minutes. I just really didn't think that we played great. I thought we played hard and I thought we came to win the game, but I thought there were a lot of times where we lost our trust in as far as what we were doing. We made too many mistakes to win the game. When you do that, you lose the game. I told them going in, listen, you love to win all of your home games, but if you don't, you don't, and you have to win one on the road, maybe two on the road to win the series.”


RE: Foul trouble

“I don't just go into a game prepared for Blake [Griffin] to be in foul trouble, but he was in foul trouble so you just have to adjust. Unfortunately for him, I thought that he was going to have a really good game, I thought that he was going to play well. It's tough to get your rhythm when you go in and out like that and you only play 19 minutes. I'm sure that Blake [Griffin] would like to have a couple of those fouls back. You can't waste fouls. I thought we fouled way too much.”


RE: Mistakes that lead to a loss

“We scored 106 points and didn't play very well offensively, and didn't have Blake [Griffin] for 19 minutes of the game. There are a lot of things that we did wrong defensively, some as a coaching staff… we have to make an adjustment. We just didn't execute our defensive game plan. I think that the lesson for all of our guys is that the playoffs are a single possession game for 48 minutes and we made too many single mistakes that eventually add up to a loss. The fact that we had a 3-on-1 and didn't score, you know I didn't see the play with [Darren Collison and Chris Paul], I don't even know what happened, but that's another fast break where no one would have been back. That was the turning point, the 3-on-1 because we don't score. You know the old attitude in the NBA, if they miss a fast break layup and they're coming back and scoring. When Harrison Barnes made that three, I thought that was a big play in the game.”


RE: Foul Trouble

“It was tough. Especially in the first half only playing, I don't know what I played in the first half. But in the third quarter there, [I] felt like I got into somewhat of a rhythm, but I kept putting myself in a hole, in a bad situation, fouling. But I can't say whether it affected other guys or not, it affected our team obviously, but like I said I have to do a better job.”


RE: Missed free throws and turnovers

“Just a bunch of small mistakes that are big mistakes towards the end. Those are the times that we've really closed out games. Missed shot, point blank shot by me there, then a dumb foul by me again. Then a couple turnovers, a couple missed shots, missed free throws, things like that. We just didn't do it. But with all the mistakes that we did make, to be in the game is encouraging.”


RE: Physicality of the game

“To be honest it felt just like a regular season game as far as the physicality goes. I don't really think it got to that level that I think a lot of us are used to. I don't know how their series went as far as how they feel the physicality of it was last year, but I know that the series we played last year and the years before that were way, way, way more physical. So it's kind of hard to know what you can get away with and what you can't, but like I said I have to be smarter in that area and not put us in that situation.”


RE: Overall thoughts on today’s game

“I've got to take care of the ball. It was just tough. I think the biggest play probably other than me missing those free throws was that 3-on-1. I want to look at that again, because I probably should've given the ball up to J.J. [Redick] or [Darren] Collison who were running with me. I try to make the right decision in those situations, unfortunately I didn't, and I missed a layup, (well whatever happened), and then they came down. We could've went up three, but instead Harrison [Barnes] makes a shot, and they go up two.”


RE: Blake Griffin playing 19 minutes.

“It was tough. It was huge. Blake [Griffin] is our go to guy, contrary to what people may think. We play through BG, as you can see, he's tough to guard. When our guy only plays 19 minutes, that's tough. I kept telling [him] „I need you' „I need you', because I'm running around with Stephen [Curry] out there, and he's resting on the other end and stuff like that so we need to play through [Blake] Griffin like that.”


RE: Regaining trust before next game

“I think we just need to play like us, like who we are. I definitely see what [Doc] Rivers is talking about early in the game. I look at myself more than anything. You think they're going to call it a little bit more physical. A lot of the stuff I did early probably in a regular season game may get you free throws. I just had to click out of it and play.”


RE: Last two minutes being ‘uncharacteristic’ of team play

“Yeah no question, we could've won this game. It would've been nice, but we still would've said there are a lot of things we can do better. But you've got to give them a lot of credit. [Harrison] Barnes made some big shots, they got some big stops when they needed to. They did what they came to do—get a game.”


RE: Overall thoughts on today’s game

“It was a hard fought game. They played well, we didn't play very well. It's one game. We weren't going to win every game in this series, so now we have to take care of home and get one over there.”


RE: Blake Griffin’s limited minutes

“You have to be prepared for all situations. Unfortunately he only played about 15 minutes, he didn't get a chance to get out there and really play. We have to find ways to be effective when he's not out there.”


RE: Warrior’s dominance on the glass

“We just have to rebound. We have to find bodies and rebound, I think that's the key. We have to find bodies and rebound.”


RE: Overall thoughts on today’s game

“I think both teams want to win so bad… and both teams not only want to win, but they want to beat each other. And I think that led to some out of character plays on both sides, and we just have to regroup.”


RE: Handling emotions of playoffs

“It's always a tough line. The mental and emotional side of basketball, especially in the playoffs, is huge. We were able to get back into the game down the stretch, and we probably didn't execute the best that we could those last two minutes. So I don't want to say it was mental errors or anything like that, but we have to execute better.”


RE: Rhythm in third quarter

“We just got into some floppy action. Just playing off movements and stuff, so that got me going.”


RE: Ball movement in the fourth quarter

“When we move the ball, and when we get to second and third actions, we're very tough to defend. And I think all season when we just get to one action and we let teams off the hook, it can come back to bite us.”


RE: Overall thoughts on today’s game

“It's a tough one. Give props to Golden State, the way they came in and did what they wanted to do, they came in here and got game one. I think now it's time to get your blood going, bring your hard hat, wake up. It's a wake-up call. We have to get at. It's going to take everything inside of us, each and every man, to come out with a win.”


RE: Importance of rebounding in this series

“Everybody has to help each other. We're all connected, we're all one. We have to be on the same page. Golden State did what they wanted to do, they competed on both ends of the floor, and they put themselves in a situation to win the ball game. And they did a lot of things as far as little things to get that edge.”


RE: Play of the second unit

“Most definitely we want to do better. Hopefully we will do better. We have to be in the moment. At the end of the day, we didn't play Clippers basketball. You see how Blake [Griffin] was in foul trouble, we're

here and there on some possessions. We just have to stay locked in because you know in the playoffs every possession counts, every second counts. Collectively as a group, we have to bring it.”


RE: Play of the second unit

“It was just things that are just part of the game. Things that you can't fix, like stepping out of bounds. Jamal [Crawford] is a shot-maker, we're not worried about him. He's going to continue to hit his shots down the stretch. But it wasn't the second unit. I think collectively as a team we just made some mistakes early on, and it just gave them the confidence the whole game.”


RE: Intensity of today’s game

“That's what we were talking about. Usually your first game your so antsy, you're excited, there's a lot of different emotions going through you. But it's not an excuse, I thought they played well especially down the stretch today.”


RE: Overall thoughts on today’s game

“I thought we did a good job on [Stephen] Curry as far as containing him as much as we can. Now we just have to do a better job on the other players, which we did. I thought we did a good job defensively down the stretch, but we have to take care of the ball offensively.”


RE: Overall thoughts on today's game

“It's awfully a good basketball team and we knew what it was going to take, the type of energy and effort to win the game. It's the best of seven and as a very, very good basketball team, with outstanding talent and obviously outstanding coaching, but I'm proud of my guys, I talked about it before hand. We're not going to quit, we're balanced so I thought when you look at the fact that we had 21 turnovers, the fact we gave up 16 offensive rebounds, we just had a tremendous will and a tremendous competitive spirit tonight and a game one victory but this series is far from over.”


RE: Importance on interior play in the third quarter

“That's really who we are; it's a pick your poison offense. We got great shooting but we made great decisions out of it, they made a decision of trying to get the ball out of Steph's [Stephen Curry]'s hands by the way they were defending pick-and-rolls. We were patient enough to make the proper plays, we winded up getting hot and center shots because of our executions offensively.”


RE: Overall thoughts on Chris Paul’s performance

“I thought Chris Paul obviously made some huge plays and put them in to position to win the ball game. [He] hit a dagger three which tied the ball game, his toughness, his competiveness, the guy will be a hall of fame, there's no question about it; he is an all-time point guard. The job that I'm asking Klay [Thompson] and the other guys to do is just to compete against him. You can compete against him and he could be lights out and put on a clinic but we are balanced, we're competing. I thought Klay did a very good job of just staying connected to him but that's a tall task because he is an incredible basketball player.”


RE: Overall thought’s on performance tonight

“Well I got off [to a] bit of a slow start really because of getting hurt last year; this is really my first playoff game tonight. So I got off to a little bit of a slow start and once again, just like our team, I just tried to be resilient and the guys told me to keep being aggressive. The second half, [I] found a better rhythm and when the shot blockers came, I thought we did a pretty good job with interior passing and getting a lot of easy buckets in the paint through that, so just tried to keep going at it. They're very an athletic team; they're going to make plays defensively and it's my job to continue to be aggressive.”


RE: Playing without key players

“Well first of all, missing Andrew [Bogut] is a huge piece of what we do. He's an unbelievable player, anchors our defense but I think the biggest thing is we felt like we had nothing to lose coming into this series. We feel like this is two very good basketball teams, we're a little bit short-handed so our goal tonight was to come out aggressive and to come out and hit first. That didn't mean get down 10 to one or whatever happened, but that's the way it worked but we feel like we have enough players to win this series and just try to be aggressive. Maybe being short-handed focused on that a little bit more.”


RE: Overall thought’s on tonight’s game

“We've been resilient all year and obviously it's a big stage too. To play the way we did, down the stretch make some big plays, respond to that first quarter run that they had. It just said a lot about how we are not going to quit, we're going to keep fighting, and it's a big way to start the series.”


RE: First quarter deficit

“We knew it wasn't going to be easy to just come in here and get a win but when you go down 12-1 and take two quick timeouts, you just want to keep your composure and realize you look at the clock, there's a lot of time left. If we just become aggressive and get a couple stops and fuel our offense, we'll be fine. That is kind of what happened when you close to a four-point deficit end of the first quarter and from there, that's the rest of the story and just to trying to play our brand of basketball, it just took us a little four minutes to get there.”







By: Eric Patten | Follow @EricPatten

Chris Paul is surly enough without the Playoffs about to start.

As the third seeded Clippers (57-25) prepared in advance of Saturday afternoon’s first round playoff opener against the sixth seeded Golden State Warriors (51-31), Paul’s answers were short and precise. He was focused. It was what he had been waiting for all season, all summer after the Clippers put together their now second most successful season in franchise history only to be dumped from the Playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies.

“Anything that happened in the past or yesterday doesn’t matter,” Paul said. “It’s all about Game 1 right now.”

In the two days since the season ended, Clippers players and Doc Rivers have been asked countless questions about the budding rivalry between the two Pacific Division foes. So far, the rivalry, like the past, has been put on the back burner. It is the Playoffs. It’s supposed to be intense.

Even with that in mind, the series between two teams that admittedly have no love lost and split their four regular season games this year, has the league abuzz. Two of the first four postseason games are slated for prime national television position, beginning with Saturday’s Game 1 as ABC’s showcase game.

“It’s going to be an exciting series,” Blake Griffin said. “They’re a great team. They score the ball. They’ve got a lot of good players and we’ve had some intense games and some close games.

“It’s going to be intense that’s for sure. But as far as animosity, we both have to play each other to get to where we want.”






1. Physicality. The previous four meetings with the Warriors have felt somewhat like postseason games, particularly in terms of physical play. But there’s no question that will ratchet up even more so on Saturday.

 “I think in general the Playoffs are a little more physical,” Matt Barnes said. “Hopefully, the refs will let us be a little more physical. That’s what the Playoffs are for.”

For the Clippers, a physical postseason, one that consists of as much arm wrestling and shoving matches as basketball, has been commonplace the past two seasons after matching up in the first round with the Memphis Grizzlies. In many ways, their experience in those two series prepared them for what may come on Saturday.

“I’ve only played in three playoff series and two of those have been against Memphis, so those series have been on another level,” Griffin said. “The San Antonio one was as well, so I don’t expect this one to be any different.”

2. Three-point Defense. Golden State is the league’s premier 3-point shooting team thanks to Klay Thompson and All-Star Stephen Curry. The duo, who are affectionately known as the “Splash Brothers,” were the league’s top two 3-point shooters, combing for 484 makes on the season. Curry shot 42.4 percent and Thompson was a 41.7 percent shooter from distance. 

“For them, 3-pointers, you know, they lead the league in 3-pointers and they don’t lead the league in attempts,” Griffin said. “That shows you a lot about their team. They hit a lot of shots. So, that’s one of the things they really kill teams with. But they’re good in other areas. That’s not to say if you take that away you’re going to win every game.”

The Clippers may be better equipped than some teams to curtail Golden State’s shooting. They were the league’s best 3-point defense, holding teams to a league-low 33.2 percent. It was a drastic improvement from a year ago when opponents shot nearly four percent better from distance. In their four matchups with the Warriors, the Clippers allowed them to shoot 41.4 percent. However, the Warriors were just 14-for-42 (33.3 percent) in the final two meetings.

“We have to be really good individually and in team defense,” J.J. Redick said. “First of all, you have to have great awareness. Some of the threes we gave up to those guys in the regular season were off loose balls or in transition or you turn your head for one second and all of a sudden Klay’s running to the corner and gets an open look. We have to have great awareness, a great sense of where they are at all times.”

3. The Bogut factor. Warriors center Andrew Bogut is listed as out indefinitely with a fractured rib. Still, the Clippers are preparing as though Bogut is going to play.

“We expect him to play,” Redick said. “He’s a tough guy. I know a broken rib’s tough, but we expect him to play.”

With Bogut alongside Golden State’s other four starters, the Warriors hold opponents to 97.0 points per 100 possessions, which would rank atop the league. Bogut’s presence as a shot-blocker and rebounder has netted him a 98.8 individual defensive rating in the 26.4 minutes per game he averaged in the regular season.

If he cannot play, the Warriors will likely start Jermaine O’Neal at center and use David Lee as the small-ball five with Draymond Green or Harrison Barnes slotted in as the four.

“He’s the anchor of their defense, a tremendous rebounder and help-side defender,” Matt Barnes said. “He blocks shots. It’s going to help us, but they have [Jermaine O’Neal] and Draymond Green and that poses other problems.”


The Clippers are 6-11 in their last two postseasons, but are 4-4 at home… Golden State did not make the Playoffs in 2011-12, but went 6-6 in two rounds last season… The Warriors announced Friday they recalled center Ognjen Kuzmic from Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League… The Warriors played in a league-high 17 games decided by two points or less. They went 10-7 in those games… The Clippers came back to win in 12 games that they at one point trailed by 10 points or more… Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford played for the Warriors. Steve Blake played for the Clippers and Hilton Armstrong was a member of the Clippers summer league team… Both teams won 50-plus games in the regular season. It was the first time in history the two franchises did so at the same time…


LAC: Danny Granger, who missed the final nine games of the regular season due to a strained left hamstring, may play in Game 1, according to Rivers.

“He did a lot of 1-on-1 stuff [Thursday] with guys, and today we’re going to do some 5-on-5 live and then I’ll make the judgment call,” Rivers said of Granger before Friday’s practice.

GSW: Andrew Bogut (fractured rib) is out indefinitely. Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) is out.


Matt Barnes: “We’re two similar teams that have historically been towards the bottom and we have a chance to fight for a title now. So, there’s going to be some hostility and animosity and hatred.”


Oct. 31, 2013 at Staples Center: Clippers 126, Warriors 115
Dec. 25, 2013 at Oracle Arena: Warriors 105, Clippers 103
Jan. 30, 2014 at Oracle Arena: Warriors 111, Clippers 92
Mar. 12, 2014 at Staples Center: Clippers 111, Warriors 98