HALFTIME GAME 3: DEFENSE GIVES CLIPS LEAD
OAKLAND – After two games of holding Golden State virtually scoreless in the opening few minutes of the first quarter, it was the Clippers in Thursday’s Game 3 that did not score until 3:13 into the game.
Chris Paul’s jumper gave the Clippers their first points, but their defense had prevented Golden State from earning much of a lead prior, and in the Playoffs when teams fail to take advantage of opportunities it can haunt them.
Paul had five points and five assists and Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan starred for the Clippers, who took a 46-43 halftime lead in Game 3 at Oracle Arena in the face of a raucous crowd and early foul trouble for Jordan.
The Clippers used a 10-0 run, including two 3-pointers from Jamal Crawford, who played his usual minutes despite re-aggravating his strained left calf in the first half of Game 3, to take hold of a five-point lead in the first quarter.
They extended it 46-37 in the second quarter after Griffin split a pair of free throws. He had 15 points and four boards in the half.
But Jordan was difference-maker for the Clippers. He had 10 points and 13 rebounds, tying Bob McAdoo’s franchise record for boards in a single half of a playoff game, despite retreating to the bench for a stint of the first quarter after picking up his second foul.
The teams combined for 54 rebounds in the half, meaning Jordan grabbed 24 percent of the total available rebounds.
Still, despite controlling the first half with their defense, limiting Golden State to 37.8 percent shooting and just 1-for-12 from 3-point range, and holding Stephen Curry without a field goal for more than 22 minutes, they only led by three at intermission.
More to come postgame on Clippers.com, including reaction, quotes and video coverage.