The Golden State Warriors defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 118-97 in game four of this first round playoff series Sunday afternoon, to tie the series up at two games a piece heading back to Staples Center.
With the recent story about Clippers owner, Donald Sterling allegedly saying racists remarks about African Americans and other minorities in a 9 minute audio recording of a phone conversation provided by TMZ, the Clippers went into the game with a big distraction to say the least.
One of the questions coming from this story is how will the Clippers deal with this situation? They confirmed they had a team meeting discussing how they would conduct themselves while this is being investigated. In addition, the Clippers did a silent protest before the start of Sunday’s game, the entire team put their warm-up jackets in a pile in the middle of the court and wore their actual warm-up jerseys inside-out so it would’t show “Clippers” across the warm-up jersey.
They still wore their game jerseys as normal but it appeared that this giant story affected the Clippers play for the first 7 or so minutes of the game and in turn the Clippers were just blitzed by the Warriors offense led by Stephen Curry. Curry started off the game on fire, as he scored 17 points in the first quarter and hit his first FIVE three pointers in that quarter, he finished the game with 33 points 7 assists and 7 rebounds. The Warriors scored 39 points in the quarter and held the Clippers to 24. From that point it seemed like the Clippers regained their focus but they had put themselves in too deep of a hole early and Curry kept pouring it on towards the end of third quarter going into the fourth quarter, the closest the Clippers cut the lead to was nine and the Warriors eventually closed it out.
Much like game one, game four was also marred with foul trouble . Klay Thompson picked up four fouls in the first half, and eventually fouled out in the fourth quarter and Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan each had three fouls in the first half. Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes picked up the slack in game as well, Iguodala, who head coach Mark Jackson said needed to be more aggressive, answered the bell scoring 22 points on 6-8 shooting with 9 assists and Barnes had 15 points on 6-7 shooting off the bench.
This series is now tied at two games at a piece heading back to Los Angeles which is just what the Warriors wanted, they have guaranteed themselves at least one more home game, they couldn’t afford to go back to LA down 3-1. Mark Jackson also notably made a couple of coaching adjustments to counter act what Doc Rivers has been doing these last two games, he moved Jermaine O’neal to the bench and started Draymond Green which gave the Warriors the ability to stretch the floor with more shooters. He also used more guard-to-guard pick and roll action to give Curry more room to get his shot going and it payed off. Now the question is as this Donald Sterling story unfolds more, how will the Clippers deal with the situation?