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Warriors take Game 1 from Clippers

Apr 19, 2014, 7:12 PM EDT

Stephen Curry AP

The Warriors were thought to be in some trouble against a very good Clippers team in the first round of the playoffs, considering they’d be without the defense of Andrew Bogut due to injury.

But when a team can put together an offensive display like we saw from Golden State in the third quarter of Game 1, it can solve a lot of problems.

That stretch of brilliance from the Warriors and just enough defense to hold off a late Clippers rally secured a 109-105 Game 1 victory that came down to the final possessions.

It ended up being a very entertaining contest, but it didn’t start out that way. The two halves were extremely different in terms of watchability, as the referees clamped down hard on both teams to take control of the game (and the series) early in order to avoid any fireworks. The teams had traded shots through the media leading up to Game 1, after some battles during the regular season made it clear that plenty of animosity existed.

The excessive whistles hurt both sides. Andre Iguodala, the Warriors best defender, had three fouls by the time the first quarter was finished, and fouled out after playing just 20 minutes in total. Mark Jackson left him in longer than most coaches would have, though he felt that defensively he had no choice. Doc Rivers managed his star’s foul trouble much differently, and limited Blake Griffin to less than four first half minutes after he picked up his third foul with 11:21 to play in the second quarter.

The teams were tied at halftime, but once the third quarter began, the Warriors put on a show.

Golden State made 14 of its 20 shots in the period, good for a mark of 70 percent. The team carved up the Clippers inside, using dribble penetration and smart interior passing to get easy looks right at the rim. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan would continually come over to help, with the strategy defensively being to try to trap Stephen Curry off of pick and roll situations. But his teammates didn’t make the additional necessary rotations — 18 of the Warriors’ 35 points in the third were scored in the paint, helping them take an eight-point advantage into the final period.

Chris Paul scored 10 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter while rallying the Clippers from a double digit deficit, and hit a huge three to tie it with 2:27 remaining. But Paul missed two free throws that could’ve cut the Warriors’ lead to one with 11 seconds left, essentially ending his team’s chances.

The next game in the series will likely be very different, in that foul trouble typically doesn’t continue for guys like Iguodala and Griffin from one contest to the next. But the Clippers have plenty of adjusting to do from a defensive standpoint if they’re going to take away all those easy points in the paint. They were successful in limiting Curry and Klay Thompson to low-percentage performances, however, so maybe the reality is simply that they have to give up something.

  1. bigmeechy74 - Apr 19, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    People were complaining about the college kids missing free throws at the end of march madness games.. holy sheesh what just happened? I’ve never seen NBA players miss that many clutch free throw’s consecutively.

    • dondada10 - Apr 19, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      The choking went past free-throws. How about when Thompson gets stripped by Paul and Collison drops the pass.

      • bigmeechy74 - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:06 PM

        yeah it was all pretty painful to watch

    • casualcommenter - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      The weirdest part – Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan made their free throws in crunch time – it was guards and other forwards who were missing those shots.

    • casualcommenter - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:10 PM

      Even weirder, Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan made their free throws in crunch time, but everybody else including Klay Thompson and CP3 were missing theirs.

    • Observer157 - Apr 19, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      Epic compilation clip of James Harden playing 11 minutes of pathetically bad defense

      • bigmeechy74 - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        ha yeah I saw this a couple days ago. I love harden but this is hilarious

  2. Professor Fate - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    jerdogthompson – Apr 19, 2014 at 12:55 PM
    Headed to the game shortly. I will be close enough to Jackson and the rest of the team to remind them of how much they suck. Clippers will WIN this series in 5, 6 if the warriors get lucky and win more than one at home.

    ufools – Apr 19, 2014 at 1:56 AM
    ……when GS is down 0-3….they are gonna be little bitches out there.

    robsaia – Apr 18, 2014 at 7:10 PM
    With Bogut out, they win one or two games (maybe none).

    aboogy123456 – Apr 18, 2014 at 10:27 AM
    The biggest mismatch of this series is off the court, coaching. Mark Jackson might be one of the worst coaches in the league, and Doc knows how to prepare his team and adjust for playoff matchups very well. I think it can be entertaining, but with the bogut injury I think it’s a sweep.

    jerdogthompson – Apr 18, 2014 at 12:50 PM
    I’m amazed the GS fans still think they have a shot at this series, all because they beat Denver last year. The Clippers are not in any sense of the word a semblance of Denver. I guess that’s why fan is short for fanatic. Keep believing warriors, keep believing. I will be at the games cheering the eventual victor.

    No matter how this series ends I would like to thank the Warriors for shutting up Clipper fan smacktalk at least once. With all the focus on Bogut’s absence affecting the Warriors’ defense, the Clippers’ own lack on that end of the floor will be what gives Golden State a fighting chance.

    • Professor Fate - Apr 20, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      Trying Wammy’s suggestion…

  3. kb2408 - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    I really like all of the Clipper players. I like Doc too. But with every fiber of my being I really hope they lose this series!! If they fail to get out of the 1st round all that talk about “owning Los Angeles” will have been for nothing! I honestly thought they had turned the corner and become a real title contender. Maybe this loss will ultimately be nothing but a minor speedbump on the road to a deep playoff run. We shall see. But just for one game they still look like the S.O.C. (same old Clippers)!!

    • imakcds - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:19 PM

      I really like all the Clipper players too, EXCEPT Blake Griffin. He’s a PUNK.
      I hope the Warriors take them out.

    • spthegr8 - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:24 PM

      Pretty much Bruh.They’re D isn’t good enough to win a championship!!!!!!
      #RUNL.A.MYA$$!!!!! New year…… SAME OLD CLIPPERS!!!!

      • spthegr8 - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:29 PM

        Scary thing is, the warriors really didn’t play good and still won on the Clippers home floor. It’s only one game but not a good sign!!

      • kb2408 - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:34 PM

        I agree, spthegr8, 1 player playing defense (Jordan) and 4 watching ain’t gonna win anything. That might work in the reg. season but it won’t work in the playoffs.

      • 22yearsagotoday - Apr 19, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        Lakers fans: RIP.

      • spthegr8 - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:51 AM

        ^^^^ The Warriors are preparing the Clippers obituary right now. Just stay tuned!!! ^^^^

  4. ranfan12 - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    Almost had it but it was a struggle with Blake barely making 20 minutes

    • spthegr8 - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:36 PM

      Almost only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes!

      • dudermcrbohan - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        thanks, gramps.

      • spthegr8 - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        Anytime little boy!!

      • ranfan12 - Apr 20, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        I’ll remember that when the GSW almost win the series against the clippers lol

  5. adamsjohn714 - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    I don’t think there was much to be learned from this game. Both teams dealt with bad foul trouble and their rotations were crazy as a result. Not the form that a regular game would take.

  6. imakcds - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    If it wasn’t for my extreme dislike of Blake Griffin, I would root for the Clippers. Everything else about them is fine…maybe not the owner.
    I love Curry, not many players impress me, and I think he’s on another level.
    and, I love Jerry West, who is a Warrior ‘Consultatnt’.
    Go Warriors!!!

    • imakcds - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:24 PM


  7. ProBasketballPundit - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    Tim Donaghy was back in uniform for this one.

  8. wstbank504 - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    This is gonna be a good series

  9. jburk003 - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    Let’s go Dubs!

  10. Professor Fate - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Logged in I can see my comments. Log out and they disappear. What’s up with that?

    • adamsjohn714 - Apr 19, 2014 at 9:14 PM

      Don’t close your laptop. You might disappear!

      Also, yeah that’s weird. This site is funky sometimes with comments.

      • Wammy Giveaway - Apr 19, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        This has happened to me a few times.

        Strangely, the bug is fixed only if the original poster replies to the comment. If this happens again, send an email or tweet to the writer for that said article.

    • sportsfan18 - Apr 19, 2014 at 10:39 PM

      more than likely someone complained about what you said and your comment was removed so as not to offend the poor timid souls on here…

      way too many with skin that is way too thin…

      free speech is MORE important… in a 2010 Supreme Court decision our Chief Justice wrote the following about free speech…

      “Speech is powerful,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain.”

      But under the First Amendment, he went on, “we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker.” Instead, the national commitment to free speech, he said, requires protection of “even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.”

      yet on here, we have “men” who get their panties bunched up when you disagree with them or Heaven forbid point out how they are WRONG and they can’t take it and run crying to their mommy (moderator via making a complaint about what some of us say).

      Here is what one writer wrote about the Supreme Court case above…

      “When it comes to free speech, our country practices a kind of tough love. The victims of hateful words are supposed to fight back with words of their own, not lawsuits or threats of prosecution.”

      Not on here, they turn tail and report our comments and they get banished…

      • kb2408 - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:07 AM

        Preach, sportsfan18!! I’m beginning to think they only post comments that don’t question their “expertise.”

  11. sumkat - Apr 19, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    Iggy won’t pick up that many fouls in game 2. He’s a great defender (watched him up close in Philly the bulk of his career), and he has that rep. NBA refs usually make calls based on rep, and they know Iggy fouled out in 20 minutes in game 1. I doubt he’ll get called for the touch fouls in game 2

    Griffin, on the other hand, I would HOPE doesn’t get in that trouble in game 2, but I would say it’s more likely. He’s known for letting guys get under his skin, and playing a little wild (leading to fouls on both ends), and that is obviously the strategy with him. I would hope Doc and CP3 could pull him aside and tell him “brush it off, you are playing right into their hands”, but we will see.

  12. progress2011 - Apr 19, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    This is why we play the games.

    All the laboring over stats, graphs, diagrams and commentating means absolutely ZERO!!!

    The anxiety and stress of the moment can’t be factored….ex: Step up to the line and knock down the free throws.

    • Wammy Giveaway - Apr 19, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      In other words, face your fears. Mark Jackson did just that.

      The Clippers, however, are still suffering. They’re scared of Golden State because they secretly know it was their own fault for letting them have their number. If you recall, Clips underestimated them in the 2012-13 season, thinking they were a lottery team that could easily be beaten. Clippers failed to take them seriously, and the Warriors beat them in three out of four games. Not only did they win the season series, the Clippers single handedly turn the Warriors into a playoff contender. They are also the only team who was able to get Blake Griffin ejected, and with him coming off a suspension, he is now more vulnerable than ever.

      Until he and his entire team can admit to their own fears, the Clippers will automatically be swept out of the playoffs. One down, three to go.

  13. cameltoehoe - Apr 19, 2014 at 10:40 PM


  14. seattlesuperchronic - Apr 19, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    Chris Paul and his desperate attempts to get calls while heaving up ridiculous shots had me laughing. Quit trying to outsmart the refs. That dude is good enough to not rely on dirty pool.

  15. duhwighthoward - Apr 20, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Boy, the Mark Jackson haters were out in droves before this series started. Where y’all at right now?

  16. fearthehoody - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Another day, another fixed NBA game. Why did Blake get 3 early fouls? Why did Blake get 3 more phantom fouls? Why did CP3 get shoved then lose the ball but no call?

    • spthegr8 - Apr 20, 2014 at 6:19 PM

      ^^^ I thought the Clips run the city ^^^ LMAO!!!!

    • spursareold - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      Why did Iguodala get three early fouls?

  17. fearthehoody - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Guess refs had the over and Golden st +7.5

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