Round 1, Game #3 | April 24, 2014
Oracle Arena | Oakland, CA
OAKLAND – After Blake Griffin scored seven consecutive points in the third quarter of Game 3 and the Warriors asked for timeout trailing by 10, the Oracle Arena crowd tried to get the rapid “Beat L-A” chant going again.
It didn’t last long.
Griffin scored again on the next possession and the Clippers rolled off 19 of the first 23 points overall to start the second half on Thursday night and survived late, earning their second consecutive victory in the first-round series, 98-96, and regaining home-court advantage.
The win gave the Clippers a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series, but it did not come without some hectic moments in the fourth quarter.
“We did a poor job there in the second half of the third and then most of the fourth,” Griffin said. “But the promising part is we played well in the third quarter there. We got stops and shots, then when it came down to it, we got stops when we needed to. But we can't let them back in the game like that.”
The Clippers built their lead, which was as hefty as 18 points in the third quarter, behind Griffin scoring 10 of his game-high 32 points in the third. But the Warriors closed the third on a 6-0 run and came screaming back in the fourth quarter.
Stephen Curry, who for the second game in a row was quieted until the second half, hit a 3-pointer out of a timeout to get the Warriors as close as four and after Griffin answered with a reverse dunk, Klay Thompson made another 3-pointer and with less than four minutes to go they made it 87-86.
Curry had 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting with 15 assists and the Warriors were just 6-for-31 from 3-point range. They had just three until the final few minutes of the game.
“I can't wait to watch the film because those three pointers, every time I see one go up in the air, it's a dagger for me because that is the line I want to defend and they got loose on a couple of them,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said “So, a lot of them were broken plays though and couldn't do anything about those.”
Griffin and Chris Paul, who was playing through a strained right hamstring and illness, combined to score seven points in a row for the Clippers, seemingly ending the Warriors’ push. Griffin drained a fade away against the shot clock and Paul made a baseline jumper and 3-pointer over David Lee to stretch the lead back to eight.
The Warriors got back to within one after Stephen Curry made two 3-pointers in the final minute of the quarter, but Griffin drew a blocking foul against Draymond Green with 26.4 seconds left and made 1-of-2 free throws. Green, who had 13 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and four blocked shots, fouled out on the play.
Paul was intentionally fouled on the next possession, but also went 1-for-2 from the line. The Warriors inbounded the ball with 8.6 seconds to go and chance to tie or take the lead and Curry missed short on a step-back 3-pointer over a tight contest by Paul. Jordan secured the rebound and threw the ball ahead as the buzzer sounded.
“I knew who was getting it, and I figured he was going to shoot it,” Paul said. “So, I just tried to make him as uncomfortable as possible and we won the game.”
Paul finished with 15 points and 10 assists. Jamal Crawford had 13 points off the bench, including going 3-for-6 from 3-point range and scoring seven consecutive points at one stretch of the third. DeAndre Jordan had 14 points, five blocked shots and 22 rebounds, tying Bob McAdoo’s franchise record for a postseason game.
“He's been that way for us, five blocked shots a game,” Paul said of Jordan. “He just covers up for us so many times. When guys get by us, he's just there for us, and that's why he is who he is.”
Defensively, the Clippers were as good as any game this season. They held Golden State to 41.6 percent shooting, allowed just six 3-pointers, forced 17 turnovers that led to 25 points, and generally stifled a Warriors team that still got double-digits out of six players.
Griffin is the first Clipper since Elton Brand in May 2006 to score 30 points or more in at least two postseason games in a row. Brand did so in four straight games… Jordan tied his own and Brand’s Clipper playoff record of five blocked shots for the third consecutive game… Matt Barnes left the game with a jammed left big toe in the third quarter… Green was whistled for a flagrant foul-1 in the third quarter when he hit Griffin the face on a block attempt. He also had his second double-double of the series… The Clippers were 8-for-28 from 3-point range, but just 10-for-23 from the foul line… They are 2-2 in Game 3s since 2011-12… It was the first home loss in the first round of the Playoffs for Golden State since May 4, 1994… The Clippers’ win snapped a five-game losing streak at Oracle Arena overall…
DOC RIVERS: We did survive. Give Golden State credit, they made a hell of a comeback at the end. You know, you knew they weren't going to give up; you knew they weren't going away. They have so many shot makers on their team. I was not happy with our defensive execution down the stretch. But we let their guys get loose and that bothered me. But overall, I thought, listen, we did enough to win. I didn't think we played great. I thought we played good. But I thought a lot of guys gave great efforts. Blake tonight was just the man. He was awesome for us. You know, Chris was struggling and then down the stretch took over for us, and that's basically what we need.
Q. On the road in the playoffs (No Microphone) do you feel you got over a little bit of a hump in that regard?
DOC RIVERS: Well, we won the game. We did have some turnovers. I can't wait to watch the film, because those three pointers, every time I see one go up in the air, it's a dagger for me because that is the line I want to defend and they got loose on a couple of them. So a lot of them were broken plays though and couldn't do anything about those. But, yeah, winning on the road for this team is good. It's a good thing for us.
Q. I was wondering you've had a lot of regular season success, (No Microphone)?
DOC RIVERS: No, I just tell them a lot. There is no individual stuff until we do team stuff. You know, I look at even D.J. with the defensive award. If we go deep, you know, then, yeah, he'll get something. But we've got to do that. Enough of talking about it. Right now I just want us to focus on Golden State. That's our opponent, and that's all we need to focus on. All that other stuff follows.
Q. Can you talk about how Chris is fighting through?
DOC RIVERS: Yeah, it was a stretch. I was going to take him out. I think it was in the middle of the third. I saw him grab his leg twice. I had actually gotten up to call for DC right before he picked up that fourth foul. It was late in the third. I just told our trainer, I think, that's it because you could see him. He was laboring. He kept every time guys were he kept grabbing the back of his leg. When he came out, he said, "I'm good. Just trust me. Please trust me," and he was good. So he's just a tough kid, a tough, tough kid.
Q. You've seen Blake at a high level all season long, but the last three games even with the foul trouble in Game 1, offensively does it seem like he's at another level right now?
DOC RIVERS: Yeah, he's just been great. He's making jump shots. The bank shot that he's added to his game facing the basket has taken him to a different level because it's very difficult now to guard him. If you get up on him, he goes around you. You back off of him, and he can use the glass. But, between, I keep going back to his work tomorrow we won't do much, but he'll be in the gym. I can guarantee you that. It's just who he is. He's very hungry.
Q. This game follows the old NBA unwritten rule: You don't win playoff games from the outside; you win them from the inside.
DOC RIVERS: Yeah, absolutely.
Q. They were 6 for 31 on threes.
DOC RIVERS: Yeah, they're going to keep shooting them because, honestly, if anyone breaks the mold, it's them because they are a great three point shooting team. So you've got to be who you are. They're great at it. If I had those cannons, I'd fire them every time down the floor too. We're okay at it, but we're great at posting, so we have to do what we do.
Q. Could you talk about how Jordan has kind of forced the lead, either rushed the shots or taken shots out of position that he doesn't really want to take?
DOC RIVERS: Well, D.J. is a great defender. He protected the basket tonight. I mean, he did such a great job tonight. We always forget about his rebounding, which I think he's been dominant at as well. But the blocks, the mode to change shots or the quick releases because he's around has been great for us. It's been great for us all year, and he's just doing his job.
Q. Just a follow up to the question, Coach, how about the pace of the game? Is it to your liking?
DOC RIVERS: No, not for us. I don't like our pace. I liked it in stretches, but I thought it's funny. If you're going to post the ball, you actually have to play at a higher speed, not slower, because it takes you too long to get it down there. We started walking the ball up the floor, and then by the time we got it to Blake, it was five seconds on the clock. There's no time.
So we absolutely have to play at a better pace than we did. We did it in stretches, but I thought down the stretch we lost our pace. I thought it almost lost the game for us.
Q. What did you think of Chris's defense on that last play? I think a few in the stands might have thought there was contact on it?
DOC RIVERS: No, I think it was a great play. I think Steph just jumped up into him to try to draw the foul. I don't think the ref's going to bail anybody out on that play. You know what was really big is we had that foul to give. That was huge. They didn't have another timeout. We knew that. We had the foul to give and we gave it. Usually the teams run the same play, and Chris was able to make Steph go another way to get open. I thought that was huge for us.
Q. Did he ask for that assignment? Did he say I want Steph?
DOC RIVERS: Well, he's had him all year. Yeah, Chris Paul, and I've said it all year, he always guards the best guy. He doesn't hide. Every night he's guarding the point guard on the other team, and that's what he does.
That's why who votes for all defensive team? I'm just okay. I'm just wondering. Now that D.J., I'm just hoping now. But Chris Paul, he's a phenomenal defender. I think we all know that. Oh, we do? Oh, then he's on.
Q. Coach, you now have the home court advantage back to you. Do you feel a little better now?
DOC RIVERS: No, we have to play better. I told our guys that after the game, and they will too. I keep saying that, they're going to play better. There is going to be a game soon where both teams play well or both teams play great. That is the game that we have to get. But we played really well in stretches, but we could be better. I know that, and I know that for a fact.
Q. This being such a puzzling game (No Microphone)?
DOC RIVERS: It's beautiful. Yeah, winning ugly is beautiful to me. But as a coach, I know that there's a better team in us, and I have to get that out of us.
Q. For a stretch they went small and you stayed with the Blake DeAndre lineup, and other times you've downsized to match when they go small. What is dictating those decisions?
DOC RIVERS: I have no idea, really. I stay big most of the time to be honest. At the end of quarters I'll go small because I'm thinking we can get a match up on the other end if we can get a stop. But for the most part because of the ability of D.J. and Blake to be able to switch even on smalls, we stayed big 95% of the time.
Q. It got pretty chippy in the third quarter and then again at the end of the game, couple flagrant fouls. Can you talk about the physicality and the nature of the rivalry at this point?
DOC RIVERS: Yeah, it's a good rivalry, I guess. The physicality is whatever. Flagrant fouls is not being physical. You know what I mean by that? Physical is rebounding and defending and grinding. That's physical play. The flagrant fouls are not being physical. That is something else. I guess we had one. They had one. I don't like either one. I don't like them because that could lead to some other stuff, but I don't correlate that stuff with physical basketball.
Q. Coach, with long stretches of domination, were you upset by the fact that the Warriors could have won it with their last possession after all that?
DOC RIVERS: I just didn't think we closed it out well, for sure. I think we have to do a better job. I thought we earned the game because we played better overall. But we have to be able to close games out better than we did tonight, especially on the road.
BLAKE GRIFFIN, DEANDRE JORDAN, CHRIS PAUL
Q. Blake and D.J., I kept thinking back to when Doc told you guys back in October you were going to have to win a game on the road in the playoffs, 18 point lead, cut it down to 1. How did you guys finish it off to win that game on the road that he talked about?
BLAKE GRIFFIN: You know, unfortunately, we did a poor job there in the second half of the third and then most of the fourth. But the promising part is we played well in the third quarter there. We got stops and shots, then when it came down to it, we got stops when we needed to. But we can't let them back in the game like that.
DEANDRE JORDAN: I thought it was important for us to just stick with it. We knew they were going to make runs. Their crowd is one of the loudest crowds in the league so for us to withstand their biggest punch and just keep going and keep our defense up, I felt like that was the key to our win.
Q. The way Chris was able to close out in the game, can you touch on a lot of people don't talk about him defensively, what is the key there for him?
BLAKE GRIFFIN: You know, he fights. He fights and doesn't give up. Even if he's given up some height, he doesn't give up much. He's constantly fighting, and he knows the ins and outs of the game, so he's capable of doing things like that for us.
Q. What does it feel like to grab that last rebound out of the air? Tonight you tied a Clippers franchise playoff record for 22 rebounds. What was kind of the key to get you going there on the glass?
DEANDRE JORDAN: You know, I felt like it's all our defense. We do a great job initially guarding the ball on the first possession, but we have to do an even better job of securing the rebounds and limiting those guys to one possession. I'm really happy that we got the win and everything else comes second, but when Steph shoots it, even if he does miss it, we did a great job of boxing out down there and making sure that they didn't get the ball back.
Q. Blake, your teammates have noticed your growth this season. Mark Jackson's pointed it out. Have you noticed or are you realizing your own personal growth and the way you're playing the game differently right now?
BLAKE GRIFFIN: Our team really, I think you saw it when C.P. got hurt in early January, I think everybody really has stepped up. I mean, Jamal Crawford was averaging 22 for us when he went out. D.J. all year long has been doing the things he did tonight. D.C., I mean, guys are all across the board. So it's nothing that I should really concentrate on or even sit back and dwell on. Everybody has to do their part. I've put in the work in the summertime. I've put in work throughout the season. Our team is what really makes us successful as individuals.
Q. DeAndre, there was a lot of talk before the game. You guys weren't coming here to play the Warriors. It was Oracle Arena, fans and all of that. How do you feel you managed that aspect of it? For the most part over there?
DEANDRE JORDAN: Well, Matt played here so he told us how the crowd was going to be. We know they're one of the loudest crowds in the league, especially during playoff time. We knew they were going to make runs, like I said. We withstood a couple punches. We had a big lead in the third quarter and kind of let that go, but at the same time, we kept fighting, kept going, kept getting stops. We didn't let the crowd get into us or get into the game. I commend us on our maturity as the season has gone on.
Q. You guys last year were one of the worst teams at defending the three. This year you're the best at it. Is that just trust? Is it priority? What has led to that drastic turn around and that part of the defense?
BLAKE GRIFFIN: I think that was two of the things we really concentrated on defensively at the beginning of the season and all throughout the season were defending the three, and also defending transition. You look at Golden State, and I mean, they're great in both of those categories. So, we were shaky at the beginning of the year. We were still learning our rotations. We were still learning to trust. I think we've learned that trust. It just has to be there for the full 48 minutes. We talk about they're going to hit shots. They're going to score points. They're a great team. But we just have to be together and we just center to withstand those runs that they put together.
Q. You guys have lost five straight road games going back a couple years coming into tonight. What did you have to change to get this one?
BLAKE GRIFFIN: Defensively we got stops man. D.J. was cleaning up everything on the inside. He finished with five blocks, but that doesn't even begin to paint the picture of how many shots he affected. I mean, just his presence alone down there was huge. That's what starts it. When he's playing defense like that, he's the anchor of our defense, and he's our defensive MVP and their defensive captain. When you see a guy like that busting himself through the whole game, I think everybody just falls into line. I think especially at the beginning of the third quarter there, we were getting stops. That's what allowed us to get to that lead. But whenever we needed it, we got stops, and I think that's what made us successful tonight.
Q. Mark Jackson said they wanted to turn you into a jump shooter tonight, but you were able to drain a lot of those Js. Can you talk about your outside game tonight?
BLAKE GRIFFIN: Just working on it, continuing to work on it. I still have a lot of work to do. I obviously didn't shoot like I wanted to from the free throw line. I got open shots and thankfully some of them fell, but, you know, just continuing to believe. My teammates give me the confidence to go out there and shoot every time I'm open. If I don't, I hear it from C.P. I hear it from Jamal. So I'm going to shoot, but trying to find a nice balance of inside and out.
Q. One of those jumpers came when you weren't open, and the Warriors had closed within one. You were kind of stuck over in the corner. It looked like you had to shoot the ball there. What was going on as you had the ball there, and how happy were you to see that ball go in?
BLAKE GRIFFIN: You know, they played pretty good defense. We kind of got stuck. At times we got stagnant offensively, and just looked at the shot clock and it was going down and tried to make a play, but I was definitely pretty happy when it went in.
Q. DeAndre, I know you were a little disappointed in the final results of the Defensive Player of the Year. Did you come into the playoffs with a little bit of a chip on your shoulder?
DEANDRE JORDAN: I felt like that's kind of how I've been playing through this entire season. You know, these guys really rely on me a lot defensively, and when I'm out there, they give me they have all the confidence in the world in me. So it's definitely a huge step for me in my career, but at the same time, it's always something to build on and it's more motivation for me. As long as I'm my team's defensive MVP, that's all that matters to me.
Q. Chris, can you talk about the last play of the game there? Did you think they were going for a three pointer? What was going on in your mind when you saw the ball come into Curry?
CHRIS PAUL: I haven't seen a replay of it or anything yet. I knew who was getting it, and I figured he was going to shoot it. So I just tried to make him as uncomfortable as possible and we won the game.
Q. Chris, Dennis mentioned that you were battling a fever. You were feeling sick. You had the hamstring. How exhausted were you in that fourth quarter? I guess, where did you find the energy to close the game?
CHRIS PAUL: What did you say again?
Q. You're sick, the hamstring is what it is and you're chasing Steph around. Where did you find the energy to close that game?
CHRIS PAUL: You just try to find a way. Nobody cares about your hamstring. Nobody cares if you're sick or anything like that. You just try to find a way to win. I knew we had two days in between games, so you just leave it all out there. You play to win by any means necessary, I guess.
Q. Chris, you closed this game out. Did Game 1 stick with you or did you put it behind you pretty quickly?
CHRIS PAUL: Yeah, I put it behind me. I definitely put it behind me. You know, it's winning time. It's winning time. I still made a few pour decisions down the stretch. Like Doc told me, be more aggressive. But it's tough, man, when you're running around and trying to go on the offensive end, but no excuses. You've just got to find a way.
Q. What was it like to see DeAndre rebound the ball like that?
CHRIS PAUL: I didn't know any of this stuff until I just looked at this sheet. I'm dead serious. I don't know what's going on in the game. I don't know what anybody's shooting percentage is. I don't know how many turnovers or rebounds. I don't know. When you get to the playoffs, it's about winning. You could care a less what the stats are. At the end of the game, as long as you have more points than the other team.
But it doesn't surprise me. Like I just sat up here and saw the big fella had 22 rebounds. It doesn't surprise me. He's been that way for us, five blocked shots a game. He just covers up for us so many times. When guys get by us, he's just there for us, and that's why he is who he is.
Q. Chris, we were talking to Mark Jackson. He said you were talking to one of the assistants on his staff. You guys have been talking since Game 2. Is that just part of the playoffs? Can you recall that?
CHRIS PAUL: I don't know, man. The heat of the game. I don't know.
Q. It wasn't pretty in the end, of course, but how gratifying is it to get this win at Golden State given the home court advantage the Warriors have with their fans?
CHRIS PAUL: It's a good win for us. I told the guys in one of the huddles we're not going to win or lose this series off this game, so it is what it is. We've got to come out Sunday just as hungry and ready to play.
Q. You made defense almost more important in this series for you? It seems that's a priority for you.
CHRIS PAUL: No question. No question. I told the guys in the locker room I sort of feel like Tony Allen trying to be a defensive stopper. Like going into the game, that's my focus. It's not how many shots I can get up, how many points I'm going to score. It's all about defense and trying to make things tough and slow them down.
Q. Were you able to do that because of what Blake could do offensively?
CHRIS PAUL: Yes, yes. And I tell "B" all through the game, like, "B", you've got to go. It's fun. Like it's fun. When you play, defense is fun. When you can stop guys and not let them get going because that is the way that we're winning right now. It's not our offense, because that's going to take care of itself, but having a guy like B.G. who can just keep going on the offensive end is big for us.
You know, different games, different series call for different things. But that's what we have to do right now.
Q. How were you able to shift into scoring mode? You hit a couple big shots there.
CHRIS PAUL: That's luck. That's luck. I don't know. I mean I can shoot a little bit, but I don't know. It's just winning time. If nobody else is open, you've got to shoot it and be a little bit aggressive. But going into the games, it's all defense.
Q. How important was it for you guys to see Jamal hit some shots?
CHRIS PAUL: Oh, man, that was huge. That was huge. I'm sure all y'all know Mal and how personable he is. I'm sure everybody here probably has his number and stuff too. Like Mal is just one of those guys that everybody on our team feeds off his energy. So when we see him get going, it gets us excited.
Mal made that move there in the third quarter, I think, and I jumped up off the bench, because we just feed off his energy. So when he gets going, oh, man, it's going to be tough for the other team.
Warriors vs. Clippers: Game 7Chris Paul scores 22 points with 14 assists and DeAndre Jordan grabs 18 rebounds as the Clippers beat the Warriors 126-121 and win the series 4-3.
Play of the Day: DeAndre JordanDeAndre Jordan blocks Stephen Curry and on the other end, J.J. Redick feeds Blake Griffin for the alley-oop slam.
Paul and Griffin Postgame - 5/3/14Chris Paul and Blake Griffin address the media after the Game 7 win.
Doc Rivers Postgame - 5/3/14Doc Rivers addresses the media following the Game 7 win over the Warriors.
HerculesChris Paul misses on the jumper and DeAndre Jordan gets the putback slam.
Relentless AttackChris Paul works all around the court and finds a seam to knock down the floater.
To The TinChris Paul drives into the lane, gets to the rim and converts the layup.
Championship EffortDeAndre Jordan blocks Stephen Curry and on the other end, J.J. Redick feeds Blake Griffin for the alley-oop slam.
DJ StrikesChris Paul lobs it to DeAndre Jordan who spikes home the one-handed alley-oop slam.
Clippers BallDanny Granger gets the steal and feeds J.J. Redick for the 3-pointer.
CP3 Sticks ItWith the shotclock winding down, Chris Paul gets separation and drills the pull up jumper.
Doc Rivers Pregame - 5/3/14Doc Rivers addresses the media prior to Game 7.
JJ Redick 5/3JJ Redick talks to media as Clippers prepare for Game 7.
Jamal Crawford 5/3Jamal Crawford talks to media as the Clippers prepare for Game 7
Chris Paul 5/2Chris Paul talks to media as the Clippers anticipate Saturday's Game 7.
DeAndre Jordan 5/2DeAndre Jordan talks to media as the Clippers prepare for Game 7.
Blake Griffin 5/2Blake Griffin talks to media as Clippers prepare for Saturday's Game 7.
Doc's MessageDoc Rivers wants you to know that it's not just the team that's been affected by recent events.
LACtv Postgame: Game 6 vs WarriorsThe Clippers fall in game 6 at Oracle Arena.
Postgame: Doc Rivers | 5/1/2014Doc Rivers addresses the media after tonight's game against the Warriors.
|Chris Paul and Blake Griffin Named to 2014 All-NBA Team June 04, 2014||Chris Paul All-Defensive First Team June 02, 2014||Spirit Dance Team: Clippers vs. Thunder | Game 6 | 5/15/2014 May 16, 2014||Game Action: Clippers vs. Thunder: Game 6 | 5/15/2014 May 16, 2014|
|Clippers vs. Thunder: Game 6 | 5/15/2014 May 15, 2014||Game 5 | Clippers vs. Thunder | 5/13/2014 May 13, 2014|
The series has shifted to the Bay Area.
After the Golden State Warriors stole home-court advantage in Game 1, the Clippers, coming off a record 40-point victory two days later, are poised to try and earn it back.
Their first opportunity is Game 3 Thursday night at Oracle Arena, where the Clippers have not won since the start of the lockout season. And while the Warriors went just 27-14 there in the regular season, the environment on Thursday and for Sunday’s Game 4 will likely be as raucous as anywhere in the league.
Outside of dealing with the crowd noise and trying to capitalize on the perceived momentum from Game 2’s 138-98 win on Monday, the Clippers have said all week the adjustments to their game plan will likely be minor.
“I don’t think Mark [Jackson’s] sitting there making great big adjustments,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “He knows who his team is. We’re not either. He knows his team’s going to play better than they did in Game 2. We know they’re going to play better. But we feel like we can play better, too. So, we’re going to have to do that. We can’t feel like [Game 2] is our best game.”
THREE THINGS TO WATCH ON PRIME TICKET
1. Crowd noise. The Clippers have played in hostile environments all season. For the past two seasons, they were thrown into one of the more vitriolic opposing crowds in sports when they played seven postseason games at FedEx Forum in Memphis. However, the crowd Thursday at Oracle Arena may go to another level.
Matt Barnes, who played for the Warriors at their previous height in 2007, said they are loud enough and excitable enough to literally shake the arena. The Clippers have not won at Oracle since Dec. 25, 2011, when they opened the season there on Christmas Day after the lockout.
On Wednesday morning, J.J. Redick talked about the best approach to dealing with it.
“If you approach a game like Game 3, knowing the series is tied and it’s a pivotal game and it’s going to be an incredible game… If you approach it like, ‘I’m going to block it out,’ I don’t necessarily think that’s the right approach,” Redick said. “I say embrace it. That environment, if you approach it the right way, can bring out the best in you.
“I think you have to be wired a certain way, but as great as it is to hear 20,000 people cheering for you and screaming for you at home, it’s better to silence them with a big shot in the fourth quarter or go on a big run in the second quarter and get some distance.”
Rivers said Redick, who played four seasons at Duke and has been to the NBA Finals, knows best.
“J.J. is an expert,” Rivers said. “He’s only one of the most hated college players of all-time. He’s used to getting booed and all that. I should have him give our team a speech on how to handle it because he’s good at it.”
2. Stephen Curry. Through two games, the Warriors’ All-Star has shown flashes of the player who finished seventh in the NBA in scoring and made more 3-pointers than anyone else. But for the most part he has been quieted by the Clippers defense. He’s just 3-for-13 (23.1 percent) from 3-point range and has committed nine turnovers. In Monday’s Game 2, he did not score until late in the second quarter and essentially had most of his 24 points after the game was decided.
Rivers said there may be some slight tweaks by Warriors head coach Mark Jackson to get Curry the ball more in position to be a scoring threat.
“Curry, my guess is that they’re going to take him off the ball a little bit more and run him off a thousand screens and we’ll be ready for that,” Rivers said. “But I think that’s something that they’ll do and that means Chris [Paul] has to run even more, work even more.”
Paul has been asked to be the primary defender on Curry throughout the series and that won’t change, even with Paul nursing a hamstring injury.
“He’s a great scorer and great shooter and stuff like that,” Paul said of Curry. “You’ve just got to try to make it as tough as possible.”
3. Forcing turnovers. The Clippers were seventh in the NBA in turnovers forced (15.4 per game) in the regular season and led the NBA in points off turnovers (19.5 per game). While the Warriors have been somewhat of a turnover-prone team throughout their last two playoff seasons, they have been volatile with the ball in Games 1 and 2. They committed 23 turnovers in Game 1 and 26 in Game 2. They are the first team since 2007 (Utah) to have two consecutive games in the Playoffs with at least 20 turnovers.
The Clippers are 1-2 in their last three Game 3’s… They went 23-18 on the road… Golden State won four of its six games at home in the 2013 Playoffs… Matt Barnes is playing his first postseason game at Oracle Arena since the 2007 “We Believe” season when he was a member of the Warriors… At least one Warriors player has picked up three fouls in the first quarter in Games 1 and 2… The Clippers have attempted 70 free throws in the first two games… Paul is seeking to become the first player in NBA history to have at least 12 points, six rebounds, eight assists and four steals in three consecutive playoff games…
LAC: None reported
GSW: Andrew Bogut (fractured rib) and Festus Ezeli (knee surgery recovery) remain out.
THE LAST WORD
Blake Griffin: “Game 1 was tough because if you go out at play your minutes and you play poorly that happens. But for me to have to sit over half the game on the bench and watch and sort of having that helpless feeling of not being able to help my teammates, it was different. [Monday] was a good win, but I wouldn’t say the highs and lows even up or match out. We just realized that after Game 1 we need to play our game.”
Game 1: Warriors 109, Clippers 105
Game 2: Clippers 138, Warriors 98
Game 3: At Oracle Arena, Apr. 24, 2014
Game 4: At Oracle Arena, Apr. 27, 2014
Game 5: At Staples Center, Apr. 29, 2014
Game 6: At Oracle Arena, May 1, 2014*
Game 7: At Staples Center, May 3, 2014*