Assuming the Clippers advance to the next round of the Western Conference playoffs with a Game 7 victory over the Warriors on Saturday, fans of the team should book their flights to Oklahoma.
Why? Because the Memphis Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph has been suspended for Game 7 of his team’s series with Oklahoma City for punching Thunder center Steven Adams in the jaw in Game 6, the NBA announced Friday afternoon.
Since Game 7 of that series is at OKC, it’s hard to imagine Memphis prevailing without Randolph, who averaged 18.2 points and 8.7 rebounds in the six games in which he played in the series.
With all the talk about Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and their 3-point efficiency ahead of Saturday’s Western Conference playoff opener, the two didn’t even have real good games in their 109-105 victory over the Clippers.
Curry scored 14 points on 6 of 16 shooting and Thompson had 22 points on 7 of 20 from the field.
Power forward David Lee, however, perhaps was his team’s best player. He scored 20 points on 8 of 13 shooting and pulled down 13 rebounds.
“Well, I got off to (a bit) of a slow start really because of getting hurt last year, this is really my first playoff game tonight,” Lee said post-game. “So I got off to a bit of a slow start and once again, just like our team, I just tried to be resilient and the guys told me to keep being aggressive. The second half, found a better rhythm and when the shot-blockers came, I thought we did a pretty good job with interior passing and getting a lot of easy buckets in the paint through that.”
The Warriors had 48 points in the paint, the Clippers 42. Golden State absolutely did have some nifty passing in the paint that led to easy layups.
Oklahoma City came from behind to defeat the Detroit Pistons 112-111 at OKC on Wednesday, meaning the Clippers will play Golden State in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs that begin this weekend.
The victory by the Thunder secured them the No. 2 seed. Had they lost to Detroit and the Clippers were to win Wednesday night at Portland, the Clippers would have been No. 2. As it as, they will be the No. 3 seed with Golden State No. 6.