Staples Center. Saturday night. The Los Angeles Clippers versus the Golden State Warriors. Game Seven.
Get ready for a war.
The Clippers and Warriors went at it last night and, despite the final score of 100-99, played one of the worst combined basketball games that I’ve seen this playoffs, sans the Atlanta-Indiana series. The Clippers and Warriors combined to shoot 38.1% from the field. That is some atrocious basketball from two very quality shooting teams.
Let’s go through some more stats just to further show how miserable the game was at Oracle Arena last night.
Chris Paul: 3/10, 9 points
J.J. Redick: 4/13, 2/10 3-pointers, 15 points
Blake Griffin: 8/24, 17 points
Klay Thompson: 3/11, 9 points
Stephen Curry: 9/24, 24 points
Steph Curry probably had the best game out of all of those starters, and he only shot 37.5% for the game. On top of that, the referee’s, whom I usually don’t complain about and dislike writers and fans who use them as an excuse, took over the ball game and called everything entirely too tight.
It became an obvious problem early in the fourth quarter when the Warriors were in the bonus three minutes into the quarter. David Lee fouled out in 26 minutes, Blake Griffin soon followed with his 6th foul and a trip to the pine, and J.J. Redick made it a three foul-out night late in the fourth quarter.
This is playoff basketball. I understand the teams aren’t shooting well so they’re going to push the ball inside, which will generate more fouls. However, the refs simply got it wrong and called the game too closely. The best part about the Clippers and the Warriors is their explosive offensive potential and their games in the open court. You can’t take that away from either one of them in such an important contest. The good news, for both teams and the NBA, is that both teams were equally affected and it didn’t change inhibit either team from winning. It just made it a hard game to watch for fans.
That being said, the Warriors were clearly the better team in Game 6 and hit a couple of very clutch shots coming down the stretch. Every time the Clippers cut the lead to four or two points, the Warriors would always come down the court and answer. There was only one time, by my account, that the Warriors didn’t match a Clippers score, and that was on the last possession where Matt Barnes hit the 3 with 1.1 seconds left. By that time the game was already over.
Now, on to Game 7. It’s going to be a war. Who knows what’s going to happen? Blake Griffin and Chris Paul could run the Warriors off the court. However, it’s just as likely that the Splash Brothers are going to get red hot and shoot everyone out of the building. Everything is in play Saturday night. Get ready!