Coming off of their stunning defeat at the hands of the Warriors in game one of their first-round series, the Clippers came into game two on Monday knowing it was essentially a “must-win”. And win they did.
The Clippers blitzed the Warriors from the tip and never looked back, smoking their foes from Northern California 138-98 at Staples Center. L.A. led 31-20 after the first period, and were never truly threatened by Golden State. Blake Griffin rebounded from his foul-ridden, subpar effort in game one by dropping a game-high 35 points in just 30 minutes on 13-17 shooting from the floor.
As a team, the Clips shot a blistering 56.6%, and nailed 12 of their 25 attempts from beyond-the-arc. Chris Paul finished just four rebounds shy of a triple-double, while DeAndre Jordan added 11 points, nine boards and six blocked shots.
Golden State was able to weather the absence of Andrew Bogut in the first game, but his presence was sorely missed in this game. Jermaine O’Neal, Hilton Armstrong and Draymond Green provided very little resistance against the Clipper bigs, and Golden State played as though they were happy just having gotten one game in Los Angeles.
The Clips’ defense came out more aggressively and more focused than they had in the previous game, and weren’t letting Steph Curry get open anywhere. Paul was able to fight through every screen they set for Curry, and he was taken out of the game as a result. The Warriors’ leading scorer did finish with 24 points, most of which came after the game was already well in-hand. He had just four at the half. The Clippers were also hounding him with double-teams and forcing the rest of the Warriors to beat them on offense, which they obviously couldn’t. David Lee, after having 20 and 13 in game one, mustered just 11 points and four boards in this one.
One of the most positive things to come out of this one for L.A. was the foul shooting. They hit 31 of their 35 attempts from the charity stripe, which is huge for a team that has its struggles from there at times. The Clippers were able to rest their starters in the fourth quarter due to the monstrous lead.
The series is now tied at a game apiece, with game three scheduled for Thursday night in Oakland.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.