Jamal Crawford remembers the buzz in Game 7 against Golden State in ’14

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

With the playoffs fast approaching, the Clippers still don’t know who they’ll play in the first round or whether they will have the homecourt advantage, which proved vital to the Clippers in 2014 when they took on Golden State in the first round.

The Clippers had homecourt advantage in that one, and it was a good thing because the Warriors have a great crowd at Oracle Arena and had Game 7 been there, the result might have been different. As it was, the Warriors were up by eight points at halftime in Game 7 at Staples Center before the Clippers emerged with a 126-121 victory to advance to the second round against Oklahoma City.

Clippers sixth-man Jamal Crawford remembers the buzz at Staples Center.

“I remember when we came on the court, it was electric,” Crawford said. “The crowd was into it, they were fired up and it was truly a win-or-go-home moment for us because we had to get it done.”

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Warriors’ Steph Curry talks about dribble move that sent Chris Paul sprawling

Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors had already whittled a 17-point deficit down to nine points when he did a number on the Clippers’ Chris Paul with a dribble move that sent Paul down to one hand on the hardwood. The move and subsequent short jumper pulled the Warriors within 48-41 with 2:25 left in the second quarter on their way to a 110-106 victory over Los Angeles.

Curry afterward talked about the play.

“I snaked through the paint and he (Paul) was trailing and I thought I could make a move back to the basket, and somewhere with the creativity in between doing the double move … as soon as I saw him go down, I knew I had to shoot it and see what happens,” Curry said.

His teammates on the bench went wild.

“You just have to block it (the bench’s reaction) out as best as you can,” Curry said. “You get a little bit of an adrenaline rush, so those are cool moments. But thankfully the shot went in and I finished the play. I haven’t seen the bench yet, but I heard that everyone was going crazy.”

Even if you are a Clippers fans, you have to appreciate this. Here it is once again:

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Blake Griffin just wants to win, so his 40-point night Tuesday means little to him

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Blake Griffin on Tuesday night had easily his best game since he returned from an elbow injury. He scored 40 points on 16 of 25 shooting. He also grabbed 12 rebounds, doled out five assists and blocked three shots in 42 1/2 minutes.

But the Clippers lost 110-106 to the rival Golden State Warriors at Staples Center, so to him, the numbers didn’t mean much.

“I don’t really count that (scoring performance) as anything dynamic,” he said when asked to assess his game. “When you walk away with a loss, it does not matter. It doesn’t really mean a lot. There were plenty of things I could have done to help us play better. The bottom line is that we need to be a better team. Championships are not won today, but we still need to improve as a team.”

Griffin’s season-high of 45 points came Dec. 8 in a 121-120 overtime victory over Phoenix.

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Blake Griffin, Doc Rivers not happy about all the cheering for the Warriors

Matt Barnes of the Clippers goes up for a shot in Tuesday’s 110-106 loss to the Golden State Warriors/Staff photo by John McCoy

 

The Golden State Warriors aren’t the only team that has had a strong fan base this season at Staples Center when playing the Clippers. The same could be said when the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat played them there.

But it seemed like all the cheering for the Warriors in their 110-106 victory over the Clippers on Tuesday at Staples Center really rubbed some the wrong way. Blake Griffin, for example, made no bones about how displeased he was during the post-game news conference.

He was asked if it felt like a playoff atmosphere.

“Not really, no,” he said. He was asked why.

“I don’t know, the homecourt advantage is just not there for us,” Griffin said. “So if that’s how it feels in the playoffs, it’s not looking good.”

Coach Doc Rivers also was queried as to whether the ambiance had a post-season feel.

“It did, in some ways,” Rivers said. “I liked our crowd tonight, for the most part. I didn’t like their crowd.”

Having covered Clippers-Warriors games at Oracle Arena in Oakland, believe this, there is almost no cheering for the Clippers.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 110-106 loss to the Golden State Warriors

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin scored 40 points in Tuesday’s loss to Golden State/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

– The absence of sixth-man Jamal Crawford was very obvious in this loss. While the Warriors got a big spark off the bench from post Marreese Speights, who had 13 points, the spark Crawford typically brings was not there to ignite as he missed his 14th consecutive game with a calf injury. Golden State got 34 points from its bench, the Clippers just 12. Sure, the Warriors’ bench played more minutes. But still, in games against the elite teams, Crawford not being in there becomes much more damaging. The good news is Crawford could return after the Clippers come back from their two-game trip that will see them play games Wednesday night at Portland and Saturday night at Denver.

DeAndre Jordan leads the league in field-goal percentage at 70.6, so shooting 1 of 5 in this one was certainly uncharacteristic. Interestingly, he seemed to have a couple of opportunities to throw down dunks but instead tried to lay the ball in the basket. That resulted in misses. Even fans were yelling at Jordan to “dunk the ball.”

Blake Griffin had a monster game. With 40 points on 16 of 25 shooting, he appears all the way back from the staph infection that was surgically removed from his right elbow. His season-high of 45 points came Dec. 8 in a 121-120 overtime victory over Phoenix. Griffin also pulled down 12 rebounds Tuesday, doled out five assists and blocked three shots.

– Considering this game was played at Staples Center and not Oracle Arena, there were way too many Warriors fans present. Both coach Doc Rivers and Griffin complained about that afterward, which was understandable. This isn’t the first time that has happened, but it makes one wonder just how much of a homecourt advantage the Clippers are going to have during the playoffs when they are playing at what are supposed to be the friendly confines of Staples Center.

Chris Paul scored 27 points and had nine assists. But he still had to try and contain Golden State’s Steph Curry, who started out by shooting 1 of 4 before getting hot and finishing 8 of 15 for 27 points of his own. Afterward, Paul said there were three instances where he was in Curry’s chest, yet Curry still made his shot. Tonight (Wednesday), Paul will have his hands full with another dynamic guard – Portland’s Damian Lillard. “It’s a point-guard-driven league,” Paul said.

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VIDEO: Clippers fans won’t want to see any of this Tuesday night against Warriors

The rival Golden State Warriors – holders of the best record (60-13) in the NBA – are in town to take on the Clippers (49-25) on Tuesday night at Staples Center. With the Warriors comes point guard Stephen Curry. It’s moves like this one that faked the Clippers’ Chris Paul into Chick Hearn’s popcorn machine that Clippers fans most assuredly don’t want to see Tuesday. Check it out:

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A few interesting notes for Clippers fans to ponder about the Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry

Point guard Steph Curry is the guiding force behind the terrific season behind had by the Golden State Warriors/Photo courtesy of Golden State Warriors, NBA.com

 

Here are just a few interesting and rather amazing things Clippers fans should know about the rival Golden State Warriors, who will play the Clippers on Tuesday night at Staples Center:

– The Warriors have won a franchise-record 60 games, besting the previous mark of 59 set in 1975-76. At 60-13, Golden State has the best record in the NBA this season.

– The Warriors are a franchise-record 47 games over .500.

– The Warriors have the league’s best road record at 26-11.

– The Warriors have 43 double-digit victories this season.

– The Warriors have won 16 games by at least 20 points.

– The Warriors are 40-0 when holding teams to under 100 points.

– The Warriors lead the NBA in field-goal percentage (47.8) and opponents’ FG percentage (42.4). The last team to lead in both categories over the course of a full season was the Philadelphia 76ers in 1980-81.

The Clippers are 1-2 against Golden State this season.

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VIDEO: This is why Dahntay Jones was fined $10,000? Seriously? Wow!

Dahntay Jones on Monday was fined $10,000 by the NBA for bumping Golden State’s Draymond Green while he was being interviewed Sunday after the Warriors had defeated the Clippers 106-98 at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Obviously, it wasn’t much of a bump and to make matters worse, Green lobbied the NBA to punish Jones, which was absolutely bush-league. Green is a hard-nosed player, a good player. But he needs to grow up a little bit.

“I definitely expect that to be reviewed by the NBA,” Green told reporters at the time.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers gave his take Monday night ahead of the Clippers’ 89-76 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Honestly, I just saw it an hour and a half ago,” said Rivers, who began to laugh sarcastically. “And, wow, that was such a violent bump. I’m telling you, I mean, it was amazing. Like, I told Dahntay, ‘You’ve gotta be careful, that was too hard.’

“And I guess that tough guy at Golden State, I mean, I think the bump was too hard for him, clearly, the way he reacted. My goodness. I thought that guy was tough.”

Jones had this to say about Green wanting the NBA to look at this so-called incident, which, frankly was not much of an incident.

“I was surprised,” Jones said. “That was a little bit immature. If the situation was different, if I was taking the situation, I would just like shrug it off, and it is what it is, not make anything of it. But he wanted to make something of it, so it is what it is.”

Jones said he did not do this on purpose. We don’t believe that for a second. Still, what Green should have done is kept his mouth shut, man up and take care of it when the teams play on March 31 at Staples Center. Even if the seldom-used Jones doesn’t play in that game, Green could have talked some trash to let Jones know he didn’t appreciate it. But to ask the NBA to review something so petty, thus resulting in a heavy fine, was just ridiculous.

Check out the video of this baby bump by Jones:

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Steph Curry eyes next game against Clippers on March 31 at Staples Center

Stephen Curry

Steph Curry/Photo courtesy of Golden State Warriors, NBA.com

 

The Clippers are now 1-2 this season against the Golden State Warriors after losing 106-98 Sunday at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Afterward, Golden State’s Steph Curry talked about what has become a rivalry of sorts, even though he downplayed that element a bit.

“Yeah, we never called it a rivalry,” said Curry, who had an off-game Sunday with just 12 points on 3 of 9 shooting; he averages 23.6. “It’s usually a competitive game and usually a spirited game. We’ll probably see them down the road in maybe the playoffs. But we’re enjoying sitting on top of the division and having some great success this year.

“We play them one more time down in L.A., so we’ve got to be ready for that game. They’ve been playing well and offensively have been doing a lot of great things, even with Blake (Griffin) out of the lineup. For us, having the defensive effort we had tonight was good.”

The Warriors (49-12) are first in the West and have the best overall record in the league. They will play the Clippers (40-23) for the final time in this regular season March 31 at Staples Center.

 

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 106-98 loss to Golden State at Oracle Arena

DeAndre Jordan sits on the bench in the second half as Clippers are about to lose to the Golden State Warriors. Jordan had with 14 rebounds, meaning his streak of 10 consecutive games with at least 15 rebounds was halted/Photo by Jeff Chiu, Associated Press

 

– Let’s face it, trying to beat Golden State anywhere is tough. Trying to beat Golden State without Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford is almost unthinkable. When you add into the equation that this game was played at Oracle Arena in Oakland, well, all you can do is tip your cap to the Clippers for getting this close. They fared better without Griffin and Crawford than they did in November when they lost by 17 points at Oracle. The Clippers once again showed the mettle that should help them in the post-season.

– Although newest Clippers guard Nate Robinson did not have a good first game for Doc Rivers – he scored five points on 1 of 6 shooting in 20 minutes – he did have three assists and zero turnovers. The bench, on the whole, played well with Austin Rivers leading the way with 22 points – a team-high. Glen “Big Baby” Davis had eight points and seven rebounds and Hedo Turkoglu scored 12 points while making 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

– It was nice to see the retun of small forward Matt Barnes, who had missed the previous two games with a hamstring injury. He played well enough, going for nine points on 4 of 7 shooting – he was 0 of 3 from 3-point range – while doling out two assists and blocking a shot. He had nary a rebound, however, in his 23 minutes.

– The Clippers had 18 turnovers in this game. That makes it very difficult to beat any team, let alone the team with the best record in the Western Conference. Five of those turnovers were point guard Chris Paul’s and four of them belonged to reserve guard Austin Rivers. That’s not going to cut it.

DeAndre Jordan had a mere 14 rebounds. He needed one more to extend his streak of at least 15 rebounds. But it was stopped at 10. During the run he had games of 27, 20, 22 and 26 rebounds. Jordan is averaging a league-high 14.5 rebounds with 19 regular-season games left. In second is Andre Drummond of Detroit. He’s averaging 13.0 rebounds.

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