« Playoff Central
(LAC Leads Series 2-1)
The Warriors suffered a tough loss on Thursday night, falling to the Clippers 98-96 in Game 3. Trailing by as many as 18 in the second half, the Warriors cut the deficit to one with 11 seconds left, but Stephen Curry’s potential game-winner fell short and the Dubs fell behind 2-1 in the series. Klay Thompson scored 15 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and Curry notched a double-double with 16 points and 15 assists. The Splash Brothers combined for the Dubs' final 18 points as the Warriors nearly came all the way back from an 11-point fourth quarter deficit. Draymond Green helped lead the comeback charge with 13 points and 11 boards and both Andre Iguodala and David Lee came within a rebound of a double-double. The Warriors will look to bounce back and even the series on Sunday when the series resumes with Game 4 at Oracle Arena. GAME 4 TICKETS
On Blake Griffin:
“He's playing at a high level right now. He's making plays, making shots. We forced him to be a jump shooter, and he's making jump shots. On the block he's aggressive, he's having an outstanding series capping off an outstanding year. I mean, we've given him different looks. He's making some tough shots.”
On not attacking DeAndre Jordan:
“Well, you're right. I thought Klay did a great job of attacking his body and finishing. Other than that, I think we're doing a bad job of forcing him to make plays. If you allow him to be an athlete, he's going to disrupt it. He does a great job of blocking shots and altering shots. We've got to go to his body and eliminate his athletic ability. Give him credit, but we certainly have to do a better job. I think the one guy that attacked him was Klay.”
On Draymond Green defending Blake Griffin:
“He did an outstanding job. That was part of the plan coming into the series. He made some shots with Draymond also. But he's playing at a high level. We're going to give him different looks and have different bodies on him.”
On regretting not going with small lineup earlier in the game:
“No, we were not playing well. We turned the basketball over too much. We just got out of character. I thought we tried to do too much at times offensively instead of trusting our offense. We were just on edge a little bit. The point was we settled down, and that's when we began to make a run.”
On Stephen Curry's last shot of the game:
“We were going for a high percentage shot. Steph was looking to turn the corner. Chris did a good job putting the hands on him, and then when he went up for the shot, I mean, he's supposed to be able to come down.”
On the team's 3-point shooting:
“I would say a bad shooting night. I'll go home tonight I had some great wide open looks from the corners, when I see Stephen release them, I think that's a lay up, and we just barely missed them. But great shots, we got good shots. 6 for 31 for three is uncharacteristic for us. We probably hit half on Sunday.”
On tonight's game:
“It's a disappointment because we can't let ourselves get down 18 to that team. We're in our home building, and it's where we play the best. We've got to just come back Sunday and play with the same energy we had in the fourth quarter. We were playing with active hands, setting screens. Our backs are to the wall now, so we'll play with nothing to lose on a Sunday. It was just more disappointing. It's playoff basketball. It's just disappointing. ”
On the team staying with the small lineup:
“Possibly. Dre's such a good on ball defender. He's so versatile. He makes it tough on Blake. He made some great shots tonight. But Draymond makes it tough on anybody. When we play small like that, we can move the ball. We got great looks, can move the ball well. Everybody has the ability to handle. We'll probably see it a little bit more.”
On DeAndre Jordan:
“He played really well. You've got to give him credit. Just rebounding, finishing, made free throws, so you've got to give him credit. But we can't let them get that many opportunities on the offensive glass. We were playing physical, and we did a good job of fouling when we they got the ball, so we have to keep doing that.”
WELCOME TO WARRIORS GROUND
The Warriors have a well-deserved reputation for having one of the loudest and most passionate fan bases in all of sports, and that level of enthusiasm will be put on national display as the Dubs-Clippers series comes to the Bay for Games 3 and 4. After taking one of two games in Los Angeles, the Warriors have stolen home court advantage in the series and now they'll do all they can to maintain it against a hungry Clippers squad that is seeing blood right now after Monday's Game 2 in Los Angeles. GET TICKETS | GOING TO THE GAME? | WARRIORS PLAYOFF CENTRAL
LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors fell behind early and never recovered in tonight's 138-98 Game 2 loss in Los Angeles. The Clippers were the aggressors from the opening tip and the Dubs were unable to match the intensity. After being hounded by the Clippers' defense in the first half, Stephen Curry let loose in the third quarter with 20 of his 24 points, but it wasn't enough on a night that saw the Warriors issue 26 turnovers resulting in 27 points for the Clippers. GAME RECAP
CORRECTING THE SLOW START
As bad as Monday's defeat was, we should keep in mind that it was just one game. A two-point loss counts just the same as a 40-point defeat in a best-of-seven series, and no matter how you look at it, the series stands at 1-1. However, one thing that the Warriors need to correct is this trend of slow starts. After Game 1 started with three straight turnovers and eight-straight missed shot attempts, the Warriors opened Game 2 by missing nine of their first 11 shots. Facing double digit deficits in the first six minutes of a game is obviously not the best strategy, particularly against an opponent that likes to get out and run on missed shots. Even though the Warriors won seven games during the regular season in which they trailed by at least 15 points, doing so against the Clippers is playing with fire.
STAY ON THE FLOOR
In addition to the slow starts, one of the disadvantages faced by the Warriors has been key players sitting out the majority of the game with foul trouble. In Game 1, Andre Iguodala played just 20 minutes before fouling out and Klay Thompson sat out much of Game 2 due to foul trouble. The Clippers have shot 35 free throws in each of the first two games and have a plus-15 advantage from the charity stripe for the series. Even though the Clippers ranked 26th in free throws during the regular season, the Warriors need to avoid piling up the fouls because they simply can't afford their key players spending the majority of the game on the bench.
FIGURING OUT BLAKE
Through the first two games of the series, Blake Griffin has been the most effective player on either side. He has averaged more than a point a minute and if not for fouling out in Game 1, the Warriors very well could have been facing an 0-2 hole. Slowing Griffin down might require the Warriors double teaming him immediately when he gets the ball. The Dubs did a little bit of that in the second half on Monday and forced a few turnovers along the way. Albeit a small sample size, it might be worthwhile to re-visit that strategy. And when Griffin is on defense, it wouldn't be a bad idea to go right at him and use a pump fake in hopes of drawing some contact. Getting Griffin in foul trouble would benefit the Warriors greatly, and the use of the pump fake would also be a good idea against DeAndre Jordan, who has blocked five shots in each of the first two games. There is no way the Warriors can match the Clippers' athleticism on the frontline, but the Warriors can use Los Angeles' strength against them.
GSW: Andrew Bogut (rib fracture) and Nemanja Nedovic (strained right calf) are out indefinitely and Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) is out.