Well, this certainly seems familiar, doesn’t it? Just like in the first round, the Clippers fell behind 2-0 in the series. Wouldn’t you know, just like in the first round, they won the third game.
This time, it’s a tad easier, as Game 4 will be at home at Staples Center compared to last time when they were on the road. With a win tonight the Clippers will even up the series at two games a piece and this will become a three-game series. With a win tonight, LA is right back into this.
When: Monday, June 14 7:00 p.m. PT
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
How to watch/listen: TNT
Opposing perspective: SLC Dunk
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Reggie Jackson, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac
Jazz: Royce O’Neale, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles
Clippers: Serge Ibaka (lower back) — OUT
Jazz: Mike Conley Jr. (right hamstring strain) — OUT
The Clippers have been so weird during these playoffs. If you recall in my articles from the Mavericks series, you’ll remember me talking about how the Clippers could have won all the games they lost. Same goes for this series.
I’m not saying the Clippers should be up 3-0 in this series, but they very easily could be. They had a 13-point lead in the first half of game one. Granted, they ended up blowing it, but they still had a chance to send the game to overtime on their final possession. Then during the second game, they had a lead with six minutes remaining. Unfortunately, they couldn’t close it out. Maybe not 3-0, but you could say they should be up 2-1 at least.
After falling behind 8-0 to begin the game on Saturday, the Clippers outscored the Jazz by 34 the rest of the way. They dominated them. This was a Clippers team that looked more than capable of winning the NBA championship.
If LA is able to play like this the rest of the way, they’ll win this series.
They got a combined 65 points from Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, along with 17 each from Nicholas Batum and Reggie Jackson. Leonard has been arguably the best player in the entire postseason so far, but if the Clippers can consistently get 30+ points from George they’ll be nearly unbeatable.
Tonight is huge for the Clippers. A win turns it into a brand new series. A loss won’t completely eliminate them, but it wouldn’t be ideal needing to win three games in a row. After seeing their performance the last two games at home, I think the Clippers will be able to get the job done tonight.