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Clippers Unable to Complete Absurd Comeback, Fall To Golden State 115-112

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In a bit of an odd game where the final score doesn't tell the entire story, the late game heroics of CJ Wilcox and Pablo Prigioni (you heard that right) are not enough to complete the comeback.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Let me start off by saying: the final score was not at all indicative of the overall performance.  The Warriors controlled the game from start to (almost) finish, and there was very little doubt they would win throughout the night.  With that being said, let's jump right into the quarter by quarter recap:

First Quarter:

After arguably their worst loss of the season, the Golden State Warriors came out of the gates fast and hungry.  Their defensive intensity caused all of the Clippers not named Chris Paul huge problems, forcing them into bad shots late in the shot clock.  The Warriors’ offense was also on another level, as it made the Clippers defense look like the defensive scheme of a pickup basketball team.  Even with their small lineup of Steph/Klay/Rush/Barnes/Green (seeing as Bogut and Ezeli were out), DeAndre Jordan wasn’t able to capitalize on his size advantage, as he had a pretty abysmal first quarter, especially on the defensive end.  On top of that, it didn’t help that  the refs were very whistle happy leading JJ Redick and Steph to the bench with two early fouls.  (On a related note: for the third meeting in a row, Steph picked up 2 fouls in the first quarter.)  Regardless, Steph's foul trouble didn’t help all that much, as the Clippers found themselves down by 13 at the end of the quarter.

Second Quarter:

I’m a huge proponent of staggering lineups, but Doc’s rotations left the Clippers with a questionable unit to start the 2nd quarter, as it left Jeff Green at the center position. Luckily, Cole Aldrich came in after a couple of minutes and brought some well needed energy. Aldrich, along with Wes Johnson and Prigioni, played well and held down the fort until the starters came back in, but when they returned, the game got ugly. The refs were wildly inconsistent, calling touch fouls on some plays, while letting some very physical hits go uncalled. The Clippers were whistled for a couple of Ts (Redick got one after getting ABSOLUTELY hacked), and they were over the limit by the 7 minute mark. The Warriors then continued to slice and dice the Clippers’ defense, making the team look more scrambled than my eggs in the morning. Thanks to Jamal and some other inexplicable sorcery, the Clippers somehow only found themselves down by 10 at the half.

Third Quarter:

Opening the quarter with a string of ugly possessions, the Clippers soon found themselves down by 15. However, the team started to improve, led by DeAndre Jordan who had an absolutely fantastic 2nd half in contrast to his 1st half. He was altering shots, grabbing boards, and finishing some lobs. To help out our high flying big was Jamal Crawford, who was having one of his absolutely killer games. He made some ridiculous shots and highlights, but no matter how close the Clippers were able to get, they just could never get over the hump. The Clippers continued to have problems getting stops, and they capped off the quarter with an extremely poor finish. In the last 40 seconds, the refs somehow missed a broken rim, which led to Wes Johnson fouling Steph Curry on a shot 6 feet behind the 3 point line. This was then followed by a missed Flagrant Foul call when Green jumped on DJ’s back on the Steph's 2nd FT attempt. If the NBA is going to go out of it’s way to make a rule for this specific case, ENFORCE IT. It was a big missed call that could have changed the end of the quarter for the better, but nope, these refs were insistent that they would be terrible all game long.

Fourth Quarter

Following one of the Clippers’ best possessions of the game, everything went downhill. The 2nd unit definitely had some trouble with Kerr’s staggered lineup, and the lead eventually got out of hand with some unsurprising hot shooting from Golden State. After a flurry of buckets from the Warriors, Chris Paul was subbed out with a bruised leg, and that was it…. Except it wasn’t. Even though the Clippers were able to cut the lead down time and time again, they somehow cut the lead to 3(!!!) under the unwavering leadership of Pablo Prigioni and CJ Wilcox. I don’t completely understand how the Clippers cut down the lead… but it was without a doubt the quietest 13-0 run I have ever seen in my life.  CJ Wilcox knocked down 2 3s, and Pablo stole the ball and nailed one of his own.  Golden State then threw away the inbounds pass with 5 seconds left, which led to a CJ missed 3.  Though Wilcox wasn’t able to convert on a game tying shot (which probably should have never been the case), he did have some inspiring defense as well as shooting.

Side Notes:

Jeff Green: You may have noticed that I didn’t even mention our new acquisition in the recap…  And that’s because he was invisible and absolutely terrible out there.  He honestly just looked out of place and lost, which is to be expected from a new player.  But with the opportunities that he did have, he was completely unimpressive.  For whatever reason, he was given far too many isolation post ups, and his offense felt extremely forced. He made horrible passes, and his defense, while it may eventually be good, didn't have much of an impact.  Let's hope he can start to fit in soon.

CJ Wilcox: Obviously garbage time is never a good indicator, but from his spot minutes, he looked comfortable out there. He played some solid defense on Curry and he knocked down a pair of threes with his very smooth jumper.  Hopefully he can find minutes here and there, at least to cut down Cp3's usage, which brings me to my next point.

Chris Paul: Our point God once again had a very solid outing, but with the way he has been playing, he is going to be completely worn out come playoffs. I understand that options are scarce, but at some point, Doc has to start limiting Cp3’s usage to conserve him, because he is going to get worn down sooner rather than later.

Overall, the Warriors are a VERY good team. Chances are, there are only going to be a handful of opportunities to tie or potentially take the lead, and the Clippers weren’t able to capitalize on them. Whenever the Clippers went on a small run, Golden State almost immediately answered back with a run of their own. It was a valiant effort, but at the end of the day, the Warriors were just a better team.  Jamal Crawford finished with a game high 25 points, followed by Chris Paul's 24- 7-6.  On the Warriors' side, Draymond finished with a triple double (18-11-10), Klay finished with 32 points, and Steph notched 23-9.  Better luck next time, Go Clippers!