Five Takeaways: Clippers Cold In 115-98 Loss To Warriors
LOS ANGELES – The Clippers (16-7) fell to the Warriors (18-4), playing from behind early and unable to find the offense to catch up.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers’ 115-98 loss.
1) Paint no pal – Stephen Curry went 0-for-8 from behind the arc. Kevin Durant went 1-for-5 from 3-point range and 5-for-17 on the night. Usually, that would mean something significant, but not Wednesday night. The Warriors got too much of what they wanted around the rim, with the Clippers allowing 22 points in the paint in the first quarter to a group more known for its lethal outside shooting. The Clippers shot just 39.6 percent for the game, and combined with turnovers and the Warriors’ work inside, finishing with 58 points in the paint and 27 fast break points, it made for a long night.
2) A lot of iso – The Warriors took away the Clippers’ go-to options, with J.J. Redick taking just one shot by halftime and four by game’s end. Rivers usually says he can look at Redick’s numbers to see how the ball moved that night, and on Wednesday, the Clippers just couldn’t get much rolling offensively, finishing with 15 assists on the night. As plays broke down, and late shot clocks followed, possessions often ended in isolation situations. Luckily, the Clippers have Jamal Crawford to help in that regard, with the majority of his team-leading 13 first-half points coming in that fashion. Crawford finished with a team-high 21 points.
3) Not fatigue’s fault – In recent losses, the Clippers didn’t want to use fatigue as an excuse, but it was tough to avoid feeling tired after playing 21 games in a 36-day stretch. “I didn’t think we had great legs down the stretch of that run,” head coach Doc Rivers said before playing the Warriors. “It was clear. You could visibly see it.” The Clippers finally got two days off to rest for the first time since the home opener, then a chance to get a real practice for just the second time this year, but it wasn’t enough to make an impact Wednesday. The Clippers will get another two days off between games before their next game.
4) Early turnovers costly – The Warriors started the night 0-for-7, but the Clippers still trailed at the time, unable to hold onto the ball, committing four turnovers in first four minutes. With the Clippers’ defense keeping Golden State at bay early on, that was a chance for the Clippers to gain early control of the game, but four turnovers in four minutes turned into six turnovers in six minutes and nine after the first quarter. Blake Griffin had a season-high seven turnovers, but the Clippers largely fixed that problem the rest of the way, committing just five more turnovers in the final three quarters. But against the Warriors, any avenue to take advantage needs to happen, and turnovers prevented that chance early.
5) No Felton – The Clippers were without a major player in their backup rotation, as Raymond Felton missed the game for family reasons according to head coach Doc Rivers, who added that Felton could end up missing a few games. “For us, I just believe family first,” Rivers said. Despite the loss, the backups were one of the strong points of the night for the Clippers, as three of their four leading scorers came off the bench in Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers and Marreese Speights, who combined for 50 points. Speights, in his first game against his former team, also drew two charges.
What’s Next? – The Clippers get two more days off before hosting the Pelicans on Saturday.