February 23rd, 2017
I’m not saying the Warriors have the Clippers number or anything. However, I am saying that after last night they have beaten LA ten times in a row. The Warriors handed LA a 123-113 loss at Oracle on Thursday, in a game that felt more like a lion playing with its food before devouring it.
The Clippers led by 16 points at one point in the 2nd quarter, and took a 61-49 lead into the locker room. However, in typical Clipper fashion, DeAndre Jordan lost his composure and picked up a technical foul at the end of the half. DJ was upset that no foul was called on the final play of the half. That moment alone may have changed the momentum.
Golden State exploded in the 3rd quarter for 50 points, which was the first 50-point quarter in the NBA since the Lakers had 51 against the Knicks in March of 2014. The eruption was led by Steph Curry, who scored 17 of his 35 points in that 3rd quarter. Those 17 points came in a stretch of only 3:37. Kevin Durant scored 15 of 25 points in the 3rd as well, to go along with 15 rebounds and 7 assists.
“Well, we stopped playing,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. “I thought the game plan was great. I thought we played with energy defensively. They scored 50 points in the third quarter and I was more upset with our offense.”
DeAndre Jordan had 17 points and 11 rebounds in the loss, while Austin Rivers had 19 points. LA even had 6 players in double figures, and their bench outscored the Warriors 51-32. Still, their efforts were no match for the Warriors trio of Curry, Durant, and Klay Thompson, who combined for 78 points.
I’m sure Doc Rivers is trying to convince himself that things could be different when Chris Paul came back. However, we’ve already seen that movie before. As great as Chris Paul is, the trio of Jordan-Paul-Griffin is no match for Curry-Durant-Thompson as well as Draymond Green.
The Clippers seem unlikely to catch the Rockets for 3rd place in West. They are tied for 4th place with the Jazz. However, they would probably be better off dropping into 6th place, so they don’t have to face the Warriors in the 2nd round of the playoffs. The Grizzlies are currently in 6th, 1.5 games behind LA. With 25 games left, the Clippers need to catch lightning in a bottle.