NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 1st (All times Eastern)
(3) Los Angeles Clippers (3-2) at (6) Golden State Warriors (2-3), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers may finally be able to focus on basketball and on Thursday, they can eliminate the Golden State Warriors when the two teams meet for Game 6 at Oracle Arena.
On Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for his racist comments caught on tape. In addition, Silver will urge the Board of Governors to exercise their right in forcing Sterling to sell the Clippers.
"These last three or four days have been very difficult for everybody involved," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before Tuesday night's game. "No matter what their race is it's been difficult. I thought Adam Silver today was fantastic. I thought he made the decision that really was the right one and had to be made."
And the Clippers responded with a 113-103 victory to put them one game away from advancing to the Western Conference semifinals.
DeAndre Jordan atoned for a poor Game 4 with 25 points and 18 rebounds in LA's victory.
Chris Paul, who has had an especially tough time during this process being the President of the Players Association, posted 20 points, seven assists, six rebounds and five steals, while Blake Griffin tallied 18 points and seven rebounds for Los Angeles.
"It was one of the most emotional games I've played in," Paul said.
Jamal Crawford finished with 19 points and Darren Collison added 15.
A win on Thursday would be the Clippers' third playoff series victory since 1976. They'll have to do it at Oracle Arena, a place the Clippers are 2-9 in their last 11, despite the victory in Game 3.
Golden State was in a tough position Tuesday night. The Clippers came out galvanized by Silver's announcement, but the Warriors played tough. They return home where they won Game 4.
"We're looking forward to Game 6," said head coach Mark Jackson. "The task we're looking at is not a task that can not be done, so we're excited for Game 6."
The Warriors won Game 4 after losing Game 3, a scenario similar to the one they face on Thursday. If successful, the Warriors already won once in Los Angeles this series, Game 1, so there's precedent for that as well.
In order to win Game 6, Golden State needs to tighten up some aspects of its game.
In Game 5, Klay Thompson netted 21 points and Stephen Curry added 17 points, but turned the ball over eight times for the Warriors, who led for just 16 seconds in the second half.
"I thought Steph tried to thread the needle too much," Jackson said.
David Lee and Draymond Green both registered double-doubles. Lee finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Green had 10 points and 11 boards. Andre Iguodala added 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
If Golden State can force a Game 7, it would be Saturday night at the Staples Center.
05/01 10:39:32 ET