Welp. A loss like this just leaves a bad feeling in your stomach. Hard to keep the rose lenses on when you're doubled over.
Outside of Blake Griffin, the Clippers pretty much had nothing going tonight. Chris Paul had one of the most hollow 25 and 9 games you will see. The early lead proved to mean little as the Warriors outclassed the Clippers once they woke up in second quarter.
The Clippers hung around sheerly by the will of Blake Griffin, who dominated the first three quarters but didn't have enough left in the tank to finish the game at that level of play. J.J. Redick was ice cold in the second half. He also contributed to turnovers and defensive miscues, it was a regrettable game for the shooting guard.
Paul was mostly invisible in the final frame, save for some free throws and key turnovers, including a bobble that led to a backcourt violation on what was ultimately the game-deciding play. This is another in a string of marquee games where Paul has faltered in the clutch. The Clippers scored only two of 12 baskets in the fourth quarter, one of which was a meaningless lay-up by Paul after the game was decided.
The contest started as well as any Clippers fan could hope- Griffin had the Los Angeles offense humming early, Draymond Green and his antics were sidelined with an injury, things looked good. The Clippers defense was intent on stopping the Warriors fast break and they succeeded. The Clippers were also forcing the Warriors into missed shots. Midway through the second quarter the Warriors were shooting a mere 29% from the field.
With 4:46 left in the second quarter, the Clippers held a comfortable 44-27 lead. Unfortunately, Steph Curry was fouled on a 3 point shot that he made. He went on to complete the four-point-play, this sparked a 14-4 run by the Dubs, aided by a parade of free throws.
On the other end, the Clippers couldn't buy a bucket. The Warriors defense certainly played a part in that. But the Clips also missed a number of shots they should have made. At the close of the second, the Clippers were forced into a 24-second violation. They went into the locker room with a somewhat disappointing 53-46 lead. It was clear momentum had shifted.
The opening moments of the second half saw the Clippers stretch the lead to double digits, but it was to be short-lived. In a similar fashion to Curry, Klay Thompson was fouled on a made bucket, completed the and-1, which sparked a 7-0 Warriors run. It was a battle from there on out.
Thompson, who was 1-8 in the first half, went on to make 4 straight buckets. The duo of Thompson and Curry scored 19 straight points for the Dubs. Griffin did his best to overcome the Splash Brothers, He had a great steal and lay-in near the end of the third, but he received very little help from his teammates. No other Cipper, including Chris Paul, was able to generate a decent shot consistently. The Clippers entered the final frame clinging to a 88-82 lead.
The fourth quarter was just plain bad. The Warriors went on a 9-0 run to take the lead. The teams traded the lead back and forth until the Warriors took the lead for good at 101-100. The Clippers offense was relegated to charity stripe campers, living off of free throws. The close of the game saw the usual collection of miscues and misfortune that have become all too familiar this season. A questionable foul call against Matt Barnes that gave the Warriors a dagger's worth of free throws, Igoudala sunk all three. Whether it was a flop or not, that's how things will be called in the postseason. Redick and Paul missed 3-pointers and Paul made the aforementioned bobble of doom. I try to stay optimistic but games like these make you look at the reality of the situation.
It won't get any easier for the Clippers as they fly up to Portland to take on the Blazer tomorrow night. All the starters logged big minutes tonight so the Clips will be at a significant disadvantage in a game the badly need to win for playoff positioning.