HALFTIME GAME 2: GRIFFIN, BENCH SPARK BIG LEAD
LOS ANGELES – Any questions about what exactly is Clipper basketball were answered in the first half of Monday night’s pivotal Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors.
Behind Blake Griffin, a sensational defensive effort and a reemergence of a dominant bench, the Clippers ran out to a 67-41 halftime lead.
Griffin had 21 points and five rebounds in the half, playing as many minutes as he did in all of Game 1. He went 9-for-10 from the foul line, a place where the Clippers lived all half.
They were 17-for-20, including DeAndre Jordan going 5-for-6. Jordan had nine points, five rebounds and three blocks and six players had at least five points.
Two days after opening the first quarter with a 15-5 lead, the Clippers did it again, earning a 15-4 lead in the opening minutes. But unlike Saturday’s erratic series opener, Monday night felt more like the Clippers playing the brand of basketball that took them to a franchise-record 57 wins.
It was something they virtually guaranteed would happen in the some 55 hours between losing Game 1 and tipoff of Game 2. Of all the things the Clippers said they needed to adjust, becoming more like themselves was arguably the biggest priority.
And that’s what they did. They established themselves with relentless defensive energy, got 14 points from Griffin in the first quarter and extended things in the early second when the bench helped turn a nine-point lead into 21 with less than five minutes left in the half.
Darren Collison had five assists in seven minutes. Danny Granger made three of his first four shots, including a 3-pointer in a run of three straight possessions with shots from long distance for the Clippers.
Jamal Crawford, who went 2-for-10 in Game 1, scored nine points in the half, Granger added seven and Hedo Turkoglu had five.
In all, the Clippers could not have done much more right. They shot 54.8 percent, held Golden State to 43.2 percent and prevented All-Star Stephen Curry from scoring for more than 23 minutes.
They continued to swell the lead, going up 65-37 after a pair of free throws by Griffin.
More to come on Clippers.com, including postgame reaction, quotes and video coverage.