LOS ANGELES-As the finality of the end of his first playoff set in, Blake Griffin sank to his haunches on the Staples Center court and put his arms over his head.
In his second professional season, Griffin battled through injuries and the Clippers battled as a team. But even in their best game of the series, it still wasn't enough to beat the Spurs, who finished off a four-game sweep with a 102-99 win Sunday night. RECAP | PATTEN: CLIPPERS REFUSE TO QUIT
A week ago they were faced with the same plight in Memphis and advanced by overcoming a hostile crowd and injuries to numerous key starters. Entering Sunday's Game 4, they're in a much more precarious situation, trailing the top-seeded Spurs by three games and needing a win to send the series back to San Antonio. PREVIEW
Everything was working. They were picking their spots to run, defending, out-working San Antonio for rebounds, and most importantly scoring at one of their best clips in the postseason. RECAP | Menezes: GRIFFIN'S BIG GAME NOT ENOUGH
With the Clippers down 0-2 in their second round series with the San Antonio Spurs, the West's top team, Saturday afternoon's Game 3 at Staples Center is imperative. PREVIEW
SAN ANTONIO - At times, there wasn't much the Clippers could do to thwart the Spurs in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals. The home team was just too efficient and too savvy. And despite a couple of spurts to get within striking distance, the Clippers could not overcome their own mistakes and another poor effort from superstar Chris Paul as they fell for the second straight time Thursday to San Antonio, 105-88. RECAP
SAN ANTONIO - Instinct takes over and Caron Butler sometimes forgets about his broken left hand, but the pain that follows offers a sharp reminder.
Butler sat out one game with the injury, a fractured fifth metacarpal he sustained in the Clippers' playoff opener nearly three weeks ago. He's started every game since, wearing a contraption on his left hand that is part padding, part glove, and part tape. READ | GAME 2 PREVIEW | LIVE CHAT AT TIP-OFF | QUOTES FROM THE HALLWAY
They spent most of Wednesday's two-hour practice going over film and took part in some light shooting at AT&T Center. Head coach Vinny Del Negro said there are a number of areas the team can improve in Game 2, particularly on the defensive end of the floor. READ
SAN ANTONIO-The final score and a barrage of 3-pointers from the Spurs doesn't explain how close the Clippers may have been to snatching Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals away from San Antonio Tuesday at AT&T Center.
After playing even for much of the first half and putting together yet another furious rally, the Clippers had multiple opportunities to pull within six points or fewer in the final five minutes. But they failed to convert down the stretch and the Spurs pulled away for a 108-92 victory. READ | GAME 1 NOTEBOOK | PHOTOGALLERY
Round two is here.
The Clippers and Spurs tipoff Game 1 in San Antonio Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. PST. To help get you up to speed, Clippers.com talked about the matchup with a Western Conference front office executive as well as an advance scout for an opposing team. Here's a look at how they break down the Spurs and the series. While many pundits have predicted the Spurs will dominate, our consultants both anticipate it will be a much longer series than expected. READ
SAN ANTONIO-It's been well documented that the four-time champion Spurs have transitioned over the last two or three seasons from a precision defensive team to an offensive juggernaut.
The numbers back it up. They've averaged 102.9 points per game since 2009-10, a 6.3 point jump from their previous four-year average. Yet what's remarkable about the philosophical shift is that at their core they've remained inherently the same. READ
After a seven-game, two-week battle with the Memphis Grizzlies, the Clippers are faced with a quick turnaround to prepare for the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs.
Game 1 is Tuesday in San Antonio at 6:30 p.m. PST, a little more than 48 hours after the conclusion of the Clippers 10-point win to eliminate the Grizzlies in round one. READ
Reggie Evans. Kenyon Martin. Nick Young. Eric Bledsoe. Mo Williams.
The five-man bench unit that tilted the first-round series with the Memphis Grizzlies then won it for the Clippers in Game 7. READ