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Warriors keep coming back, just not far enough, fall to Clippers in Game 3

Apr 25, 2014, 2:54 AM EDT

Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan

Golden State fans will want to focus on the last shot — you’re not going to get many calls in that spot but Chris Paul did seem to clip Stephen Curry on the elbow on a final three (or at the very least didn’t give him room to come down). There was no call and the Clippers won 98-96.

But that’s not why the Warriors lost Game 3, that’s not why they trail 2-1 in this series.

The Warriors lost because they were 6-of-31 from three.

The Warriors lost because Blake Griffin led a 19-4 charge in the third quarter to destroy the Warriors — the Clippers were up by 18 at that point (Griffin had 32 on the night). The Warriors had to expend a lot of energy just to get back.

The Warriors did make a run late in the fourth quarter, then the Clippers responded with another 7-0 run, this one led by Chris Paul. The Warriors had to fight back on that one as well in the final seconds. And they couldn’t.

The Clippers won the match ups again and with that take a 2-1 lead in a series that started to show some of the feistiness we had all expected. Matt Barnes should get out his checkbook now for the fine that is coming thanks to his WWE body slam of Andre Iguodala. Green had his own flagrant on Griffin.

The Warriors fought back in this one, they just couldn’t get all the way back.

During the season Golden State lived by the three on offense — only the Rockets made more threes. The Warriors count on the three ball. However, during the regular season the Clippers held opponents to shooting 33.2 percent from three, the lowest percentage in the league. That strategy is working as evidenced by the 6-for-31 shooting in Game 3 by Golden State.

The Clippers continued with their “we’re not going to let Stephen Curry beat us” strategy, trapping and trying to force the ball out of his hands. Curry ended up with just 16 points — although he nailed a couple of late threes — but he did have 15 assist. Klay Thompson benefitted with 26 points on the night to lead Golden State.

DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and more importantly 22 rebounds, a Clippers franchise record. Jamal Crawford had 15 points off the bench, Chris Paul had 15 points and 10 assists, plus he sparked a fourth quarter 7-0 run.

The Clippers can expect to see more small ball lineups as Mark Jackson needs to find a way to get his shooters better looks. Then they need to knock them down.

Golden State needs the Splash Brothers back in full force for Game 4. If not, that could be the last game at Oracle this season

  1. antistratfordian - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:31 AM

    “Bang! Motherf—ers!”

    – Cliff Paul

    • theromeo2k - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      “That was a Motherf-ing foul!”

      -Cliff Curry

      • antistratfordian - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        “That was a motherf—ing flop!”

        -Ref Ed Malloy

  2. divan22 - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:06 AM

    It was a foul.

    I’m sick of the “refs won’t call that with the game on the line” garbage. Do NBA rules magically not apply when there’s only a few seconds left? You can’t shove a shooter in the stomach and you MUST give him room to come down cleanly.

    • k3nn3k - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:13 AM

      “Shove a shooter in the stomach”… exaggeration much? Yes there was contact, and even in slow motion which always makes things look worse there was barely any contact.

      CP went to close out and touched Curry on the hip. Just like when Blake goes up for a shot or dunk, people put a hand on his hip. Watch it real speed, not slow mo, and you’ll see how weak that touch was.

      I think Curry actually ruined it for himself. The last few 3 attempts he took he tried the leg kick and flailed around after each 3 trying to get a call…I think the refs caught that so they were hesitant to call it when he tried to fall backwards on that last shot.

      • divan22 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        I notice you didn’t address the “must allow a shooter to come down cleanly” aspect of the play.

        Because Paul didn’t let Curry come down cleanly. Which makes it A FOUL.

        Obvious call, but asking the refs to make an obvious call with the game on the line is apparently too much to ask for.

      • k3nn3k - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        @divan22 – I don’t know how much bball you actually play (not a slight, just a comment), but if I wanted to land on my feet after taking a shot, 9 times out of 10 I’m going to land on my feet and not fall on my backside. You are going to cling onto the “come down cleanly” because you think Curry is coming down with no intention of selling the foul. Truth is, if he came down without any intention to fall back on purpose, he would have landed just fine. But he is obviously trying to sell the call.

        Just like the leg kick, if you don’t kick your leg out and flail then you will likely land just fine. But players are trying to get the And1, so it looks worse than it is. Prime example, watch how Curry shoots his 3’s in the beginning of the game, and then watch how he shoots it when they are at the end of the 4th quarter. Even better, watch the last few 3’s Westbrook put up last night on the OKC/Griz game and it’ll be clear as day that these 6’4 athletic guards can land cleanly if they wanted to.

        Shooters sell the foul especially when they are desperate for that 1 extra point. Curry did the same thing, can’t blame him for trying, but he didn’t get enough contact to have a foul called. I understand you wanted to try to steal the game, but the Clippers deserved that win.

      • k3nn3k - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        Watch a trained ref explain the call. I just found this video, but the explanation sounds eerily familiar.

      • k3nn3k - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:10839533

    • steelyres211 - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      There was a foul, on Curry, he pushed Chris Paul off with his free hand, but everyone seems to be overlooking that foul.

      • kinggw - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        Thank you. I thought Curry pushed off and than flopped. k3nn3k was spot on. The last few minutes Curry seemed to be doing his best Reggie Miller imitation trying to get a call.There was definitely contact, but if you don’t call the push off on Curry than you shouldn’t call the foul on Paul.

      • slowclyde86 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        Let me guess…Clippers fan, right? It never ceases to amaze me how rabid fans allow any semblance of objectivity to fly out the window when their team is involved. If it’s not Chris Paul committing the foul, it get’s called ten times out of ten. I hit his elbow while shooting, to make no mention of the other contact. I actually root for the Grizz, so no dog in this fight—but Curry was mugged.

    • Wammy Giveaway - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      To answer your question, yes. And here’s why: The referees are afraid of being labelled riggers.

      Every time we have a situation like this, and if the call that was made for that play was either incorrect or not called at all, the fans for the team would give the referees an ear full of complaints. I do this as well: when a team I’m rooting for gets a bad call or no call, I scream “Sham! Conspiracy! The refs are rigging the game to give that team an automatic win!” It’s not just a joke; it’s a very serious punchline. The Christmas game where Blake Griffin was ejected paints this picture perfectly: Draymond Green throws an elbow to Griffin, and while Green was tossed, Griffin gets a technical foul. Mark Jackson spots Griffin’s weakness of toughness and asks Andrew Bogut to rough him up because the referees will overact over anything that could escalate to a fight. Griffin was charged a second tech, and was automatically ejected. The Clippers were so pissed over that call, they were willing to trade Blake Griffin for Carmelo Anthony, just to get revenge on the Warriors.

      The referees will have to come to the realization that no matter how perfect you officiate games or want to keep the peace, there will always be one blown call that gets blown out of proportion to the point where fans of one team will believe the whole game was fixed. There have been corrupt officials in the past, and corrupt players who conspired with officials to rig their games. Evil deeds and hidden agendas exist, and no matter how hard we want to make competition as the onus of sports, there will always be that lingering doubt that sports can be manipulated.

      Which leads me to this question: is the WWE partially or wholly responsible for the idea that sports like the NBA can be rigged? Not are rigged, can be rigged.

  3. bougin89 - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I want to see Chris Paul make a deep playoff run. He’s too good not to.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 25, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      Same here.

  4. misremembered72 - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    rooting for the clips, but that was a foul. The forearm had significant push in Steph’s midsection.

  5. thesixersbench - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    I’m pulling for the Clippers – I enjoy the players on their team more than the Warriors – but that was absolutely a foul. The NBA officiating is so uneven. It’s a legitimate problem. When you have 20,000 people leaving an arena feeling like their team just got screwed…that’s not a good result for the NBA. This isn’t pro wrestling.

  6. mat9844 - Apr 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Offense looks spectacular but defense wins games — DJ had 22 rebounds. No rebounds, no rings. Clipper’s defense this year will be the determining factor, and so far it looks great!

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