For the second time in as many days, the Clippers were badly outplayed in the fourth quarter and lost a game they badly needed to win. Consequently, they've started 0-2 on a series of nine games that is clearly their easiest stretch of the season. This team has underperformed all year, and has looked like a team headed for the lottery a few times, but never more so than right now.
My dear friends, NBA games are won and lost in the fourth quarter. Good teams play just hard enough to stay close through three, and then win in the fourth. But the Clippers were outscored 27-14 in this one. This is all the more distressing considering that the Warriors are the single worst defensive team in the NBA. That's right, 14 fourth quarter points against the worst defense in the league. You simply don't deserve to win if you do that.
It just gets worse. The Clippers actually scored the first 4 points of the quarter to take a two point lead, and then scored 4 meaningless points at the end. In between, they were outscored 25 to 6. Leading scorer Elton Brand scored 0 points in the quarter, took one shot, and had (by my count) two touches on the offensive end. The Warriors played a 2-3 zone with 3 guys leaning toward EB, betting the Clippers couldn't score from the corners; they won their bet.
Overall, the Clippers committed 19 turnovers and were outscored in the paint 54-30. They gave up 20 offensive rebounds. To the Warriors.
Tim Thomas was inactive for the game, though I have not heard a reason given. Shaun Livingston (who was actually very agressive on offense in the second quarter) left the game with a sprained ankle.
I thought the Toronto game was the low point of the season. Then came the Dallas game. Then came the Atlanta game. And now the fourth quarter of this game. It's like the Clippers have found a dial that goes to minus 11.