Round 1, Game #6 | May 1, 2014
Oracle Arena | Oakland, CA
OAKLAND – It’s only fitting that the Clippers and Warriors should play a winner-take-all Game 7.
They have played each other 10 times this season, winning five each. To make it more necessary, the first round of the Playoffs has been one of the wildest NBA history, where three Game 6’s on Thursday all wound up with the team leading the series failing to close things out.
The Clippers, despite a roaring start at Oracle Arena, could not avoid becoming one of them, falling, 100-99, to the Golden State Warriors, evening the series at three games apiece.
“It wasn't a very well-played game by either team going by the shooting percentages, but I thought both teams played extremely hard,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “You know, I honestly thought they played it. I don't know if it was harder than us. I thought we played hard, but I did think they won the 50-50 game in a big way.”
Golden State made four free throws down the stretch to clinch the game after Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick fouled out. It was a foul-filled evening. The teams combined for 52 fouls and 70 free throws.
The Warriors had 29 shots from the line in the second half, and used the numerous trips to the line to pull away from the Clippers. Three-pointers by Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick helped the Clippers erase most of an eight-point deficit that seemed to hold up for most of the fourth quarter.
In desperation mode, Matt Barnes nailed a leaning 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds to go to pull the Clippers within one, but Stephen Curry purposefully missed the final foul shot seven-tenths of a second later to let the clock expire.
Barnes had 18 points and tied a postseason career high with 11 rebounds. Crawford scored 19 points off the bench, including scoring or assisting on three of the Clippers’ final four hoops. And Griffin scored 17 points with nine rebounds and five assists before fouling out with 2:31 left. Golden State regulated Griffin, though, by sending a second defender at him nearly every time he touched the ball in the post. The four-time All-Star was just 8-for-24 from the field.
“That was the first time all series that they consistently doubled him,” said Redick, who had 15 points. “We made a little adjustment and got looks. We got looks in transition. It just wasn’t a great offensive game for either team.”
The Clippers shot 36.8 percent from the field, while Golden State hit 39.3 percent of their shots. The teams combined for 104 misses in the game.
The Warriors matched their largest lead at 85-77 after David Lee fouled out with 9:44 left in the game. Griffin brought L.A. within three points on a 3-point play that drew Lee’s sixth foul, but within a minute the Warriors put together a 7-2 run. Klay Thompson leaked out for a fast-break layup that led to a Clippers timeout. Crawford, Redick and Griffin helped close the gap, but to no avail.
“I thought we stopped trusting each other,” Darren Collison said of the Clippers’ inability to close the series out down the stretch. “All of us. I think we all tried to take it upon ourselves individually. That’s something that we can’t have. We’re good enough talent-wise. We’ve just got to come together.”
During his pregame meeting with the media Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said he was “crazy enough” to believe the pressure of Game 6 all fell on the Clippers. His logic being that the Clippers would want to avoid an “anything can happen” scenario in a decisive Game 7.
It looked like quite the contrary in the early going, however.
The Clippers jumped out to a 14-5 lead, surging ahead by getting five assists on their first five field goals.
But after a wondrous start, turnovers and another Stephen Curry sighting at Oracle Arena propelled the Warriors back in the game. They took their first lead early in the second quarter and led by as many as eight after a 12-2 run. The Clippers, though, responded with a 9-0 run of their own and the teams paraded to the foul line in the final two minutes of the half and the Clippers took a three-point lead into the locker room.
But it wouldn’t hold up.
“I think we fought back and it came down to a few small things that cost us the game,” Barnes said. “We let one slip away, but we fought hard all season to have a Game 7 at home. Now, we’ve just got to take care of business.”
Jordan set the franchise record for blocks in a postseason series with 25… The Clippers failed to close out a postseason series for the fourth time in six tries since 2006. They previously won a Game 7 on the road against Memphis in 2012 and a Game 5 at home against Denver in 2006… Jermaine O’Neal (right knee sprain) left the game with 9:39 to go in the second quarter and did not return… It was the first elimination game victory for the Warriors since May 10, 1987 against the Lakers… Stephen Curry had a game-high 24 points… The Clippers outrebounded the Warriors, 54-50. It was the first time in the series they have done so… Hedo Turkoglu (back) missed the game…
Q. Super tough game out there, physical game. Can you talk about it?
COACH RIVERS: Yeah, it wasn't a very well‑played game by either team going by the shooting percentages, but I thought both teams played extremely hard. You know, I honestly thought they played it. I don't know if it was harder than us. I thought we played hard, but I did think they won the 50‑50 game in a big way. We kind of closed the gap with offensive rebounds in the second half a little bit, but I think they had 15 more shots than us at halftime, and we were still up 3 or 4.
Every big rebound they got, we cut the lead, got it to two, Harrison Barnes gets an offensive rebound. So they made the big plays.
I thought, honestly, it was one of those games where neither team shot the free throws well. Neither team shot the ball well. It was one of those hustle games. Give them credit. I thought they came up with just enough plays to beat us.
Q. How much did the combination of injuries and fatigue hurt Chris Paul? What is he dealing with, his hand or thumb?
COACH RIVERS: He's dealing with a lot of stuff; but, listen, he's on the floor and Golden State doesn't care, bottom line. He does have injuries, and there is no doubt about that. I'm sure they have some too, but, listen, I think once you're on the floor, you're on the floor.
Chris is playing terrific to me defensively, and that's what we need him to do in this series. It probably does take a little bit of his offense away, but I'm good with that.
Q. What was the message you gave your team right after the game? Also, can you just talk about your experience coaching in a Game 7?
COACH RIVERS: Well, I've lost some, and I've won some. So the experience is you have to come play. I've won some on the road, I've lost some at home, and you've got to go play. You've just got to go out there and play the game and be aggressive and try to take the game. When you're at home, you can't rely on home. That doesn't work. It's going to be great to be at home. We'll be back in our safe haven now, and the fans will give us great energy, but you've still got to perform, and that is the bottom line.
That's what I told them. We've just got to trust each other. I thought the third quarter we stopped trusting. We were basically an iso basketball team. No fun to watch, and we're not very good at it.
Q. These types or these tone of games seem to suit them, Game 1 and again tonight. Did you think this type again on Sunday?
COACH RIVERS: Yeah, I think it will be just like this. I really do. We have to be able to handle it. But they were the tougher team tonight, I thought. But I thought we wanted to win. I thought we came out and played well in the first half. The third quarter did us in and foul trouble hurt us tonight.
Q. What is your reaction to the ESPN report that Donald Sterling is battling cancer?
COACH RIVERS: Didn't know it until just now. I don't have a reaction to that. I hope it's not true.
Q. Blake, did this remind you of Game 1 at all?
BLAKE GRIFFIN: Yeah, I thought we both, both teams played poorly. I thought Game 1 they played a little better. We played pretty bad. I mean, at the same time, like I said, I don't think both teams were hitting a lot of shots really. I think they just grinded it out a little more than us, obviously.
Q. Blake, I know both you and Chris would like to finish this thing off tonight, but do you take any solace in the fact that you're going home now to play on your home court as opposed to having to play a 7th game on their court?
BLAKE GRIFFIN: Yeah, that's why you work so hard to get as high a seed as possible and to have home court in situations like these. But not happy about the way we played, but we have to forget about it because we have a big one coming up.
Q. Could I ask you both to respond to the news that Donald Sterling is battling cancer at present?
BLAKE GRIFFIN: I honestly didn't know that. If that is true, my thoughts and prayers are with him. Nobody deserves to go through something like that.
CHRIS PAUL: Yeah, that is the first I've ever heard of that, and that is truly unfortunate.
Q. In the locker postgame couple guys were really upset with the loss, and it looked like Jamal was going around to guys trying to pick guys up. Does that process have to start right away with Game 7?
CHRIS PAUL: I think so. I think it would be a problem if we were okay with it. Anytime you lose, guys are down, guys are mad and upset. You always try to run through your mind what you could have done differently for us to be so close. But, yeah, we've got to let this one go and get ready for Game 7 and go back home.
Q. Chris and Blake, I know you guys are in the moment, but you played these guys ten times this year. Now the familiarity, I know there is not any love lost, but how about the respect and enjoying the opportunity to go head to head against these guys? Because it's just been great drama throughout the regular season and the postseason.
BLAKE GRIFFIN: Yeah, it's been great games. They're a good team, obviously. You look at their lineup, look at what they've done, they're a great team and we've had some good battles. It's fun. It's fun to have competition like that.
Q. Chris, was there a fatigue factor you were battling tonight? It looked like late in the first half there was a trainer kind of working on your hand or maybe your thumb. Could you tell us what happened there?
CHRIS PAUL: Yeah, I'm okay. I'm okay. Tough game, bumps and bruises, you get through it. But we've just got to be ready for Game 7. Every game is different. Me and Blake both battled foul trouble tonight. We've just got to be ready for Game 7.
Q. Blake, could you talk about or elaborate on the challenges that Draymond Green poses against you?
BLAKE GRIFFIN: Just missed some easy shots the past couple games here. Whenever you have a smaller defender, it's not so much the one‑on‑one match‑up just because they're constantly running people at you. I've got to do a better job of reading the double teams and passing out of them, things like that.
Q. Piggybacking on that, what do you have to do to get back to the offense that you guys played? In the early season you had the most efficient offense in the league. Is it ball movement? What are the things you guys need to recapture most?
BLAKE GRIFFIN: Yeah, I think just ball movement and trusting our offense. I think, honestly, it starts defensively for us. When we get stops, we kind of get into a better flow and a better rhythm. It's not just coming down and a matter of calling a play and doing what we do; it's a lot of things.
To me and I think other guys would agree, it starts when we're all as a unit playing better defense and not giving so many easy looks and easy shots. It kind of fits into our offense a little bit better.
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|
By: Eric Patten | Follow @EricPatten
Back to basketball.
After several tumultuous days, including Games 4 and 5 squeezed in between, the Clippers and Warriors take the court at Oracle Arena Thursday night for what might be simply a normal playoff basketball game.
At least some semblance of normal.
“We’re not through this,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday via teleconference. We’re still in it. I truly believe that. There are so many other questions that have to be asked, so many moving parts to this, even internally here. There are things that we’ve got to find out. This is going to be with us. Let’s just keep winning and just deal with it.
“This is part of this year’s Playoffs for us.”
And with a 3-2 series lead over the Warriors, the Clippers are one win away from advancing to the second round for the second time in three years.
“I think having closure, we can all move forward,” Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said about moving on from this week’s whirlwind of controversy and focusing on Game 6. “Staying locked in and staying in the moment [gives us the best chance to win]. We know it‘s going to be rowdy up there. We know it‘s going to be tough, and we‘re going to give it our best shot. We know the fourth game is always the hardest, but I think we‘ll be ok.”
FEATURED MATCHUP: BLAKE GRIFFIN VS. DRAYMOND GREEN
THREE THINGS TO WATCH ON PRIME TICKET
1. Continuing to guard Curry. Outside of Game 4, when Rivers said the Clippers may have made game-plan mistakes on as many as 70 percent of their defensive possessions, they have had success locking in on Stephen Curry. The Warriors’ star committed seven turnovers in Game 5 and is averaging 4.4 per game in the series.
Part of that has come as the Clippers have attempted to make him more of a passer rather than a scorer. In Game 5 Curry took just 10 shots. Late in the first half he was just 1-for-1 from the field. Asked whether or not the limited shots and high turnovers were a product of Curry or the Clippers’ defense, Rivers said, a little of both.
“I think obviously we were playing very hard and doing our best on him, but he’s a great player,” Rivers said. “When you watch his turnovers, some were his part, and were unforced, and others Chris Paul and other guys did a pretty good job.”
2. Records for D.J. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who is coming off a 25-point, 18-rebound performance in Game 5, has a chance to topple a couple playoff records in Game 6. First, he is one blocked shot away from breaking Elton Brand’s franchise postseason record of 22 blocks in a series. Brand did it in seven games versus Phoenix, while Jordan has neared the mark in two games less. Additionally, Jordan has 69 rebounds in the series, four away from tying Brand’s team postseason record for a series (73).
3. Bench Production. The Clippers bench had its best game of the series on Tuesday (not including Game 2 when they played extended minutes in the Clippers’ 40-point win). Crawford and Darren Collison combined for 34 points and made plays in a small lineup down the stretch that featured Crawford, Collison, Jordan, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Collison may be the biggest key for the Clippers’ bench. He’s scored in single digits in three games this series, two of which were losses. In the series so far he’s shooting 5 percent below his season average and has made just one 3-pointer (Game 5).
But the Collison from Games 2 and 5, when he notched his first career postseason double-double and in the latter game had 15 points, could alter Thursday’s game. His speed has been a challenge for Golden State to handle and his ball-pressure on Curry has alleviated some of Paul’s defensive duties when they’re on the court together.
The Clippers are 2-3 in closeout games since 2006… The Clippers have made two more 3-pointers (48) in the series than the Warriors (46). Golden State led the NBA in 3-pointers in the regular season… Golden State has won seven of its last nine Game 6’s… The Warriors are 7-1 at home in the first round of the postseason since 1994… The Clippers have held an opponent to 103 points or less 49 times this year, including preventing the Warriors from exceeding 103 points three times in the series. They are 42-7 in those games (3-0 in the Playoffs)…
LAC: Hedo Turkoglu (back) is doubtful.
GSW: Andrew Bogut (fractured rib) is out indefinitely. Festus Ezeli (recovering from right knee surgery) remains unlikely to play.
THE LAST WORD
J.J. Redick: “It would be ideal to not come back here for Game 7. Obviously, the pressure is on them, and they‘re fighting for their season right now. So, we‘re going to have to play our best basketball of the season. Bottom line, for us to win up there, in front of that crowd, against a great basketball team, we‘re going to have to play our best. We know that, and hopefully, that‘s what we bring up there.”
Game 1: Warriors 109, Clippers 105
Game 2: Clippers 138, Warriors 98
Game 3: Clippers 98, Warriors 96
Game 4: Warriors 118, Clippers 97
Game 5: Clippers 113, Warriors 103
Game 6: At Oracle Arena, May 1, 2014
Game 7: At Staples Center, May 3, 2014*