In Game 2 of what’s expected to be a very tight and exciting series, the Los Angeles Clippers bounced back and gave the Golden State Warriors a beating. They controlled the game from start to finish, giving the Warriors no chance at making a comeback at any point of the game.
Blake Griffin went ahead and scored a career-high 35 points without a foul and the Clippers led all the way in a 138-98 rout Monday night to even up the series at one game apiece. “We were really aggressive on our defense,” Griffin said. ‘’When you play more aggressive you stay out of foul trouble.”
Chris Paul also added 12 points and 10 assists for Los Angeles. They started the game off with a 14-4 run and didn’t quit after that, maintaining a sizeable double-digit lead through the final three quarters. They huge win ended up breaking franchise records for points scored and largest victory margin in a playoff game. “When we play with that force and thrust, it’s hard to defend us,” Paul told reported after the game.
In Game 1, the Clippers were plagued with foul trouble including both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. In Game 2, that foul trouble took a visit to the Golden State Warriors.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors scored 20 of his 24 points in the third quarter, and still the Warriors never got closer than 25 points. He also was playing with four fouls. Klay Thompson, who led the team in scoring in Game 1, finished with seven points – 15 points under his average. Andre Iguodala, who fouled out of Game 1, and Jermaine O’Neal had four points each.
The Clippers were a force on defense that couldn’t be contained. They ended up forcing 26 turnovers, and offensively they had their way as well. They did an excellent job getting out in transition after forcing a turnover or a missed shot, they attacked the rim with ease and introduced the Warriors to Lob City as they threw each other alley-oops all night long.
“We were awful,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said in an interview. ‘’They disrupted us with their intensity. That was a desperate basketball team we played against.”
The Los Angeles Clippers shot 57 percent from the floor, made 12 of 25 three-pointers, hit 32 of 35 free throws for a playoff record 91 percent and owned a 25-13 edge in fastbreak points. It was truly a dominant game in every aspect for the Clippers. “We really kept the game simple. When a guy had an open shot, he took it. When he didn’t, he passed,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said in an interview. “It’s very difficult to guard when the ball moves as quickly as it did.”
The Clippers lead grew to a 37-point bulge early in the fourth quarter when Matt Barnes hit a three-point jumper. Barnes was the Clippers’ only starter who played, albeit briefly, in the fourth quarter. He finished with 13 points. Danny Granger added 15 points himself before fouling out and DeAndre Jordan scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Both of these teams have a history of bad blood between them, especially when Klay Thompson verbally attacked Blake Griffin before the series started on a radio interview. He called Blake a “bull in a china shop” and added that he plays a little “out of control.” In the fourth quarter of Monday’s Game two, Clippers’ Hedo Turkoglu and Glen Davis got into it with Marreese Speights of the Warriors. Davis and Speights were called for double technicals. The Warriors’ frustration boiled over with 42 seconds left in the game when Jordan Crawford was called for a flagrant-1 for shoving Clippers guard Darren Collison who was bringing the ball upcourt.
Through the first half of play, Blake Griffin had 21 points in 20 minutes, which was one minute more than he played in the Clippers’ loss on Saturday. He fouled out of Game 1, when Paul was also in foul trouble and made several mistakes in the closing minutes after the Clippers rallied to tie the game late. “Blake took it when we had it, moved it when he didn’t,’’ Rivers said. “He stayed on the attack, which is what we wanted. Great mental toughness by Blake. He was phenomenal.”
The Clippers outscored Golden State by 11 points in the opening quarter and by 15 in the second quarter. Curry struggled again offensively, mainly due to getting double-teamed for the second straight game. He made just one basket and two free throws in the first half.
The Clippers’ second unit grew the lead from 11 points to 21 points in the second, helped by consecutive three-pointers from Jamal Crawford, Hedo Turkoglu and Danny Granger. They then stretched the lead at the break when the starters re-entered the court. They only hit four baskets, but hit nine of eleven free throws during that time.
“They came in and didn’t miss a beat,” Griffin said about the reserves. “They came in and turned up the pressure.”
Klay Thompson got whistled for his fourth foul barely a minute into the third. David Lee, who had a double-double in Game 1, only finished with 11 points.
The two will face off again on Thursday night. It will be Game 3 of the seven-game series and will be held in Golden State’s home court at 10:30 PM ET.
Editor’s note: This was a guess post from Justin Becker of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com. You can follow him on twitter at @NBAFantasyInfo, and you can follow the Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page. For more NBA news visit FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com, a fantasy basketball blog.