NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 21st (All times Eastern)
(6) Golden State Warriors (1-0) at (3) Los Angeles Clippers (0-1), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers will try to knot their Western Conference playoff series with the Golden State Warriors on Monday night when the two teams collide at Staples Center.
The Warriors stole home-court advantage with a 109-105 victory Saturday afternoon.
Klay Thompson tallied 22 points and seven rebounds, while David Lee had 20 points and 13 rebounds. Harrison Barnes scored 14 with eight boards off the bench for Golden State, while leading scorer Stephen Curry was limited to 14 points with seven assists and seven turnovers.
"I am proud of my guys," said Warriors head coach Mark Jackson. "We're not going to quit. We had a tremendous will. This series is far from over."
Chris Paul flirted with a triple-double for Los Angeles, depositing 28 points with eight assists and seven rebounds in the disappointing setback. He helped bring the Clippers back into the contest, but made some critical mistakes late.
J.J. Redick added a playoff career-high 22 points and DeAndre Jordan scored 11 and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
Blake Griffin, an MVP candidate this season, was plagued by foul trouble for most of the game. He managed 16 points before he fouled out after just 19:14 of action.
"I kept putting myself in a bad situation by fouling," Griffin said. "I have to do a better job. I have to play smarter. I think some of us, including myself, wanted it too much. We have to relax."
The Warriors were in front through most of the second half, but Paul buried a pair of 3-pointers to tie the contest.
It was knotted at 105-105 when Golden State's Draymond Green worked his way to the free throw line with 24 seconds left and made both. The Clippers used their final timeout and put the ball in their All-Star Paul's hands, but a hard double team forced Paul to lose it out-of-bounds, although a foul could've been called.
After initially ruling Clippers' ball, officials went to the monitors and quickly overturned the call, handing it back to Golden State.
It appeared to be a classic case of the referees electing not to call a foul, instead, letting the team retain possession.
While the replay was used correctly by the officials, the NBA acknowledged a foul should've been called.
"Just prior to the ball going out-of-bounds, Paul was fouled by Green and Paul should have been granted two free throws. Contact preceding out-of-bounds calls is not a reviewable matter," Rod Thorn, NBA President, Basketball Operations said in a statement.
Barnes then made 1-of-2 from the stripe, leaving the door open for Los Angeles, but Paul was intentionally fouled and the 86 percent career foul shooter missed both. Green could have put the game away, but he too missed two free throws with 6.8 seconds to play. On the second miss, the Clippers' Darren Collison chased down the rebound and stepped out of bounds.
Thompson then took his turn at the stripe and made 1-of-2, sealing the outcome.
"We didn't play very well," said Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. "We were in foul trouble most of the game. We played hard but a lot of times I think we lost our trust."
There were no fireworks that marred three of the four regular-season meetings between the teams.
For the Warriors, who pulled off an upset of the Denver Nuggets in the first round last postseason, it was a great win as they were not immune from foul trouble.
Andre Iguodala, a stout defender, fouled out in the fourth quarter after around 20 minutes of action. Golden State is already without its defensive anchor, center Andrew Bogut, who fractured a rib and is out indefinitely.
"Maybe being short-handed focused on that a little bit more," said Lee. "We feel like this is two very good basketball teams, we're a little bit short- handed so our goal tonight was to come out aggressive and to come out and hit first. That didn't mean get down 10 to one or whatever happened, but that's the way it worked but we feel like we have enough players to win this series and just try to be aggressive."
This series shifts to Oracle Arena for Game 3 on Thursday night.
04/21 10:24:00 ET