With all the hoopla about the 3-point shooting prowess of Golden State Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, they have not been up to par in that department in the first three games of their Western Conference playoff series against the Clippers.
Curry made a league-high 261 3-pointers during the regular season and shot 42.4 percent from beyond the arc. Thompson made 223 3-pointers and shot 41.7 percent.
In three playoff games, Thompson (7 of 20) has made 35 percent and Curry has shot only 28.6 percent (6 of 21).
Furthermore, the team as a whole is shooting 27.3 percent from 3-point range compared to 38 percent during the season.
The Warriors connected on only 6 of 31 3-pointers in Thursday’s 98-96 loss to the Clippers at Oracle Arena in Oakland that gave the Clippers a 2-1 series lead. The biggest miss was Curry’s at the end.
Thompson believes that will all change Sunday when the teams square off in Game 4 at Oracle Arena.
“I would say a bad shooting night,” Thompson said, when asked to what he attributed Thursday’s 6-for-31 team performance. “I had some great wide-open looks from the corners. When I see Stephen release them, I think that’s a layup, and we just barely missed them. But great shots, we got good shots. Six-for-31 for (3s) is uncharacteristic for us. We probably hit half on Sunday.”
The Clippers, by the way, are beating the Warriors at their own game. They shot 35.2 percent from 3-point range during the regular season. They are shooting 40 percent in the the playoff series.
Jamal Crawford has been struggling with his shot for a little while now, no thanks to a strained left calf that has hampered him for a couple of months.
Crawford is 11 of 30 from the field in the first three games of the Western Conference playoff series against the Golden State Warriors – 5 of 14 from 3-point range. But he was 5 of 11 and 3 of 6 during the Clippers’ 98-96 victory over the Warriors on Thursday at Oracle Arena in Oakland. That was noteworthy, coach Doc Rivers suggested Friday at the team’s hotel in San Francisco.
“Well, I think he needed it because when you’re not healthy, you need the ball to go in,” Rivers said, “and so I think it was good.”
Two of Crawford’s baskets came back-to-back late in the third quarter. He made a 3-pointer and then an 18-footer that gave the Clippers a 75-62 lead.
The Clippers lead this series 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Oracle Arena.
Blake Griffin scored a game-high 32 points in the Clippers’ 98-96 victory over the host Golden State Warriors on Thursday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Griffin made 15 of 25 from the field.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson was impressed.
“He’s playing at a high level right now,” Jackson said. “He’s making plays and making shots and we are forcing him to be a jump-shooter and he’s making jump shots. He’s having an outstanding series capping off an outstanding year. We gave him different looks and he’s making tough shots.”
Game 4 is Sunday afternoon at Oracle Arena.
Griffin, by the way, played 43 minutes and 44 seconds.
Point guard Chris Paul and sixth-man Jamal Crawford are hurting a little, but they will play Thursday night when the Clippers play at Golden State in Game 3 of their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series, which is tied 1-1.
Coach Doc Rivers discussed Paul and his sore right hamstring and Crawford and his strained left calf at Thursday’s shootaround.
“I think he’s OK,” Rivers said of Paul, who hurt the hamstring in Game 1, “but I’m just going to watch him. His is pretty obvious. You can tell right away if he’s struggling moving, so that’s not a hard one to read. I think Jamal is the more difficult one. Chris, the only good thing about that injury is, you know when it’s bothering him.”
Paul did very little at practice the previous two days.
“I didn’t do too much, but I’ll be ready,” Paul said.
Crawford, who missed significant time down the stretch of the regular season because of the calf, was asked if he would be playing were this not playoff time.
“It is,” he said. “That’s the only thing I can think about. It is the playoffs.”
Crawford reportedly tweaked the calf in Game 2.
“No question about it, I’ll be out there,” he said.
The Clippers were in a must-win situation Monday when they played the visiting Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series after the Warriors won by four points in Game 1 on Saturday.
The Clippers went out and destroyed the Warriors to the tune of 138-98. But it’s just one victory, Glen “Big Baby” Davis reminded reporters this week.
“It was just one game,” said Davis, who was one of the reserves responsible for the overall terrific performance Monday. “We let Game 1 slip by us. Whatever we needed to wake us up, I feel like it did. Hopefully, we can keep this energy going, especially over there because it’s going to be a battle. … Just keeping that focus, just having that sense of urgency every game.”
Game 3 is Thursday at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
From what I just heard from a nice guy who picked me up in a Courtyard Marriott shuttle from the airport in Oakland, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is quite the golfer.
As the story goes, said driver was “lucky” enough to be paired with former NBA player Dell Curry, father of Stephen, in an area golf tournament. The driver said that the elder Curry can really hit the ball a long way.
When the driver told Dell Curry that, Dell told him that his son is even better.
By the way, Game 3 is Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Oracle Arena.
Guard Chris Paul on Wednesday was asked if his team can come up with another gem like the one it produced Monday in a 138-98 victory over the Golden State Warriors that evened their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series.
“We hope so,” said Paul, who is nursing a sore right hamstring. “Everything starts with our defense and we defended pretty well to start that game. It’s one of those things where when you’re playing defense, you try to put pressure on them offensively, too.”
The Clippers, who play Thursday at Golden State in Game 3, certainly did that Monday.
Chris Paul’s right hamstring has become a bit of an issue, but apparently not a big one. He injured it in the first half of Saturday’s loss to Golden State in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series.
Paul played 36 minutes in that one. He played 27 minutes in Monday’s 40-point victory in Game 2, but no starter played more than 30 in that one because they were not needed in the fourth quarter.
Coach Doc Rivers said at Tuesday’s practice he was going to limit Paul over the next two days.
“He needs it because I think he’s doing everything he can with it, to be honest,” said Rivers, whose team will play Thursday at Golden State in Game 3. “Two days of huge rest for him. It’s funny, you go into the series talking about J.J. (Redick) and Jamal (Crawford), and we left the game last night thinking we need two days for CP, and so these days will be good for him. He won’t do much. He may do a little tomorrow, but nothing today. We’re not doing anything today anyway.”
The Clippers somewhat surprisingly lost Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series to Golden State on Saturday at Staples Center. They bounced back in a big way Monday by destroying the Warriors to the tune of 138-98 in Game 2, also at Staples Center.
Blake Griffin, who Monday scored 35 points – a career playoff high – suggested Tuesday at practice that the team keeping its collective head up helped.
“After Game 1 you can’t just hang your head and say, ‘This is terrible, this is awful,’ ” Griffin said. “You have to accept that feeling and you have to accept what you did wrong.”
By the same token, the team can’t get too full of itself after one fantastic performance, Griffin intimated.
“You can’t expect every game to go like that,” Griffin said. “So I think it’s just about coming in today and going over what we made mistakes on and correcting them and moving on from there.”
Game 3 is Thursday at Golden State.
The Clippers scored only 26 points off the bench in their 109-105 loss to Golden State on Saturday in the first game of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.
It was much different Monday when the bench came through with a whopping 58 points in the Clippers’ 138-98 rout of the Warriors at Staples Center. Leading the way was Danny Granger with 15 points, Hedo Turkoglu had 13 and Darren Collison 12. Jamal Crawford started slowly, but he finished with nine points on 4 of 8 from the field.
“I thought our bench tonight was fantastic,” coach Doc Rivers said in the post-game news conference. “Great in the second quarter, obviously great in the fourth quarter. They shot the ball well, they defended. And that’s what we need our bench to do. That’s what that was about, just no let-up.”