That’s one word to describe how these entire NBA playoffs so far have been, but in particular all of the first round series that have gone the distance. In what was a night that featured THREE game sevens (with 2 more game sevens coming up Sunday night), the Golden State Warriors fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 126-121 in Staples Center, Saturday night.
The Warriors came out blistering hot in the first half, they shot almost 57% in the first half and drained 7 threes, scoring 64 points by halftime but the moniker of any basketball game is turnovers and the Warriors made a bunch of careless mistakes that kept the Clippers in the game in the first half.
The Clippers offense started rolling in the second half, J.J Reddick started to run Andre Iguodala tirelessly off of screens constantly and scored double digit points in the 3rd quarter. Jamal Crawford came off the clippers bench and made some impossible shots, including his trademark move known as the 4-point play. The Clippers got contributions from multiple sources through out this game, as every starter scored double digit points.
In the fourth quarter, it was an old fashioned shoot-out as Reggie Miller said during the TNT broadcast. Both teams played hard and, it wasn’t like the defense was bad, it’s just both teams were making some incredible shots. The turning point in the game was when Stephen Curry had the ball with about 1:40 left in the game, with the Clippers leading 110-109 and what seemed to be a easy lay-up for Curry after breaking the double, turned into the emphatic blocked shot by DeAndre Jordan off of the backboard which led to a J.J Reddick lob to Blake Griffin in transition to put the Clippers up 112-109. At that point, I could tell the Clippers were starting to pull out this nail bitter of a game. After playing the free-throw game the Warriors finally fell in the last seconds of the game 126-121. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was caught on camera pumping his fist and interacting with Clipper fans in an emotional manner, which was really awesome to see given the recent events that have clouded this series.
DeAndre Jordan was the MVP of this series to me, he really put his imprint on this game and this entire series, he registered yet another monster double-double scoring 15 points, and 18 rebounds to go along with 3 blocked shots. He made key stops defensively and also had a key put back in the last minute of this game to extend the Clippers lead. Chris Paul who has been banged up with numerous injuries put his imprint on this game, as he struggled for most of this series. Paul registered a big double-double of his own, scoring 22 points and dishing out 14 assists.
The Warriors season is now officially over, as the Clippers advanced the Western Conference semi-finals to face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder in what should be yet another fantastic seven game series (Thunder in 7 by the way). Stephen Curry played like a superstar, scoring 33 points including going 11-11 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. You would like to wonder if this series would’ve have been different had Warriors center Andrew Bogut played, but as expected the front-court of the Clippers, in particular DeAndre Jordan, dominated. Simple as that.