Well, the Clippers really bounced back from their 109-105 loss against the Warriors last Saturday. And by bounced back, I mean they absolutely dominated Golden State with a final score of 138-98.
Now, if you think you read the score wrong, you didn’t.
The revengeful Los Angeles team really won by 40 points and tore Golden State apart right from the opening tip.
Blake Griffin was unstoppable, leading the way with a career playoff-high 35 points, scoring 21 of those points in 20 minutes of the first half. He played without committing a foul unlike game 1 when he fouled out in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers started out on a 14-4 run and never let their foot off the gas. They were up 67-41 at halftime, tying a franchise playoff record for points scored in the first half.
Chris Paul contributed 12 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists, and 5 steals, an all around spectacular game.
Like Griffin, Paul too got into some foul trouble in the first game and both players spent the majority of the third quarter on the bench.
On Monday night, both Griffin and Paul would sit again but this time in the fourth quarter to relax and enjoy the blowout victory that they helped create.
Los Angeles shot 57 percent from the field, making 12-of-25 triples and hit 32 of 35 free throws for a playoff record 91 percent.
The strong play of the starters rubbed off on the Clippers’ second unit as Danny Granger scored 15 points on 60 percent shooting accompanied by Hedo Turkoglu’s 13 points and Darren Collison’s 12 points and 10 boards.
Golden State was held to just 47 percent shooting from the field and 21 percent shooting from the three while committing 26 turnovers.
Aggressive defense by the Clippers and an off shooting night by the Warriors can explain those numbers.
Stephen Curry spent the second straight game getting double-teamed and really struggled with his shot. He had 24 points on 9-of-17 shooting and little help from the rest of his teammates as David Lee only scored 11 points and Klay Thompson scored seven.
Although the Warriors lost by 40, this series is far from over. If they would’ve just stuck to their Game 1 plan again they might have lost by only 20 instead.
In Game 1, the Warriors defense forced the Clippers into mid-range jumpers, minimizing their efficiency in the paint, but the Clippers had a much better game plan on Monday as they scored in the paint and hit jumpers left and right.
Again, the biggest factor was Golden State’s inability to contain Blake Griffin as he put on a clinic all over the floor.
Unfortunately, the Warriors lost a key player to an injury right before the playoffs, who could’ve provided the size and length needed to slow down Blake Griffin. That guy is Andrew Bogut. The 7-foot, 260 pound center averaged 7 points and 10 rebounds per game.
But the chances of Blake Griffin playing like that again are slim although I won’t be surprised if he does and once the Warriors start clicking on offense, which they will, their scoring will be tough to match.
After watching both the Clippers and Warriors play throughout the season and in the first two games of the playoffs, I think the Clippers will take the series in 6 games. That’s if all of the following takes place:
1. Los Angeles continues playing solid defense.
2. Both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul can stay consistent and stay out of foul trouble.
3. The officials swallow their whistles.