Blog: Season 2

Sportzball: Season 2

Warriors Rally Back From Slow Start but Clippers Capitalize in Overtime, Warriors Lose 121-116

After beating the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night, the Golden State Warriors (11-2) travelled south to take on the Los Angeles Clippers (7-5). The Warriors were looking to extend their new winning streak after losing their eight-game streak against the Bucks last week, and they would have to do so without Stephen Curry. On the bright side, both Draymond Green and Shaun Livingston made their triumphant return to the lineup after missing several games with injury. The Warriors also were debuting their new “City” jerseys, which were pretty cool. The Los Angeles Clippers went on to beat the Golden State Warriors in overtime, 121-116.

Patrick Beverley got a layup to fall to open the scoring in the first quarter, and Tobias Harris drilled a three on the next possession to give the Clippers a 5-0 lead. Durant got the Warriors on the board with a layup, but Danilo Gallinari drilled a deep three in response. The Warriors clawed back with two impressive mid range jumpers from Klay and an impressive coast-to-coast layup from Draymond Green. The two teams were clicking on offense to start the quarter, and this game was looking like it was going to be a high-scoring affair. The Clippers had the edge early thanks to two threes from Gallinari, but the Warriors were close behind. When timeout was called with 6:14 left in the quarter, the Clippers had a 17-12 lead. Kevin Durant and Danilo Gallinari both had six points to lead their respective teams at the stoppage. Marcin Gortat hit two free throws immediately after the timeout to give the Clippers a seven-point lead, but Kevin Durant drilled a tough mid range jumper to get the Warriors going on the next possession. The Clippers were still getting to their spots with relative ease between timeouts, and they were converting on most of their opportunities. The Warriors were down by eight at one point, but Andre Iguodala and Jonas Jerebko hit threes to cut the lead down to two points. Quinn Cook nailed two deep twos as well, and looked like he was still hot since last game. When timeout was called with 2:28 left in the quarter the Clippers had a 28-26 lead. Gallinari was up to nine points for the Clippers and Durant had eight. Kevin Durant got the Warriors on the board after the stoppage with the Warriors first two free throws of the game, and Mike Scott answered back for the Clippers with a basket of his own. The Clippers had the edge in the closing minutes as the Warriors couldn’t do much outside of a Kevon Looney dunk. The Clippers slowed as well, but they were still getting to the free throw line a lot. Kevin Durant finished the quarter with 10 points to lead all scorers while Quinn Cook, Kevon Looney, and Klay Thompson all had four points. Danilo Gallinari had nine points to lead the Clippers, and Marcin Gortat added eight of his own. The Clippers were 9/11 from the free throw line in the quarter while the Warriors were just 2/2. After the first quarter, the Clippers led the Warriors 34-30.

Montrezl Harrell got a layup to fall for the Clippers to open the scoring in the second quarter, and Klay THompson got the Warriors started with a three on their first possession. Mike Scott drilled a tough jumper for the Clippers, and Shaun Livingston got a tough and-1 layup to fall for his first points since returning from injury. The two teams were still going back-and-forth like they were in the first quarter, but the difference between the two teams was that the Clippers were making more of their open looks than the warriors, who were making none of them. The Clippers were getting some nice looks around the rim, and Lou Williams was pulling up from half court. The Warriors were having to work for open shots, but were getting some to fall. Andre Iguodala threw down an impressive reverse-dunk and the Warriors were getting to the line more. The Clippers still led at the first timeout, and with 6:39 left in the half they had a 46-43 lead. After the timeout the Clippers got on the board first, but Alfonzo McKinnie made his first three of the night on the other end. The Warriors still couldn't get their open looks to fall, and the Clippers were hitting tough shots even as the Warriors defense got more active, it was definitely frustrating. Between the stoppages the Clippers grew their lead a little, and when timeout was called with 3:32 in the half and the training staff checking on Tobias Harris’ knee, the Clippers had a 57-53 lead. Kevin Durant threw down a thunderous dunk in transition to get the scoring started again, but Tobias Harris drilled a three to make up for it. The Clippers were hitting tough, well-contested shots, and it was clearly frustrating the Warriors. Kevin Durant nailed a three to pull the Warriors within one point with 30-seconds to play, but Tobias Harris made a tough hookshot to extend the lead when the halftime buzzer finally sounded. At halftime, the Clippers led the Warriors 64-61.

Kevin Durant was the only Warrior in double figures for scoring, and he had 21 points on 7/12 shooting in the half. He also had four assists and two rebounds. Klay Thompson (3/11) and Andre Iguodala (2/3) both had seven points. The Warriors combined to shoot 52.3% (23/44) from the floor and 35.7% (5/14) from three in the first half, so they weren’t shooting the ball poorly by any stretch of the imagination, the Clippers were just shooting better. They had four players in double figures. Gallinari had 12, Harris had 11, Gortat had 10, and Gilgeous-Alexander had 10. Montrezl Harrell also added nine points, so he didn’t quite make the 10+-point club. The Clippers combined to shoot 60.5% (23/38) from the field and 40% (4/10) from three. They were just making everything, and that was going to need to change for the Warriors to win.

Klay hit a tough turnaround midrange jumper to start the third quarter, and Patrick beverley got the Clippers going with an easy layup. Gilgeous-Alexander knocked down a jumper and the Clippers were still giving the Warriors all sorts of problems, and that was before he stole an entry pass and dropped it in for a layup on the next possession. The layup forced a timeout from Steve Kerr as the Clippers stretched the lead to seven points. With 9:21 to play in the third quarter, the Clippers had a 70-63 lead. Kevin Durant got a running bank-shot to fall to start the scoring, Damian Jones had a MASSIVE block on the other end, and that led to an impressive reverse layup from Klay Thompson. Danilo Gallinari made two free throws to get the Clippers on the board. The Warriors looked determined to get back into the game though, and after a long and complicated possession that featured like four different kick outs to shooters, Quinn Cook got a corner three to fall and force a timeout from Doc Rivers. Timeout was called with 7:06 left in the quarter and the Clippers leading 72-20. Tobias Harris muscled his way to the rim to open the scoring after the timeout, and Gortat got a tough push shot to fall on their next possession. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander knocked down an elbow jumper to push the lead to eight, but Kevon Looney slowed the Clippers’ run with a tip-in. Kevin Durant then nailed a three from the top of the logo to cut the lead to three points again. The lead wasn’t at three for long though, as Lou Williams got an and-1 shot to fall. The Clippers were just on a roll, a seemingly-unstoppable roll and they built the lead back up to nine-points, the largest lead of the game to that point. The Warriors did get another basket, a jumper from Shaun Livingston, but the Clippers responded with a Montrezl Harrell dunk to push the lead to nine points again at the end of the third. The Warriors were led by Kevin Durant with 28 points (9/19), and Klay Thompson was the next-highest scorer with 11 points (5/15). The Clippers were led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with 18 points, and Montrezl Harrell had 16. The Warriors finished the third shooting a combined 50% (31/62) from the floor and 38.9% (7/18) from three while the Clippers shot 54.1% (33/61) from the floor and 28.6% (4/14) from three. The Warriors committed eight turnovers in the quarter after only committing three in the first half. The Clippers led the Warriors 90-81 after three quarters.

Montrezl Harrell got a push shot to fall to open the fourth quarter and push the lead to 11 points. Draymond got a push shot of his own to fall, and Klay Thompson got got a layup to drop, but the Clippers negated those points by getting two tough shots to fall. The Clippers got their lead back to 11 points, and after a couple minutes of no one scoring Andre Iguodala threw down a MONSTER jam to cut the lead to nine points and force a timeout from Doc Rivers. When timeout was called with 7:20 left in the fourth, the Clippers had a 96-87 lead. Montrezl Harrell threw down a putback dunk to start the scoring again, and Lou Williams drained a three on the next possession. Klay Thompson nailed his first three in what felt like a decade, and Kevin Durant nailed two free throws before knocking down a tough and-1 fadeaway. It looked like Kevin Durant was getting ready to bring the Warriors back, that was before Andre Iguodala jumped on a pump-fake from Lou Williams who was behind the arc. The Clippers were still playing as hard as ever, and getting pretty much anything they wanted, but somehow the Warriors were only down by eight with 3:32 to play. Montrezl Harrell was just wrecking havoc on the Warriors on both ends, and he blocked Draymond Green twice on one possession between stoppages. He was playing like prime Ben Wallace. Steve Kerr called timeout with 3:32 left and the Clippers leading 106-98. Klay Thompson got the lead to five points with a three right out of the timeout. Doc Rivers then called timeout after watching Kevon Looney block a shot and Klay Thompson miss a potential momentum-shifting three. Timeout was called with 2:51 left to play and the Clippers leading 106-101. Klay Thompson got a baseline jumper to fall after an incredible defensive play from Draymond Green to start the scoring, but then Klay tied the game on a 35-foot heat-check three. The Warriors were in the midst of a 19-5 run in the fourth quarter. The last minute of the game saw Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson take threes from Oakland, but they missed, and the Clippers couldn’t do anything. This game was headed to overtime. KD had 33 points to lead all scorers and Klay Thompson had 24 points. Montrezl Harrell had 20 to lead the Clippers. The Warriors shot a combined 48.8% (40/82) from the field and 38.5% (10/26) from three through four quarters, and the Clippers shot  45.9% (39/85) from the field and 26.3% (5/19) from three. The game was headed to overtime as the two teams were tied at 106 points.

Andre Iguodala scored the first points of overtime with a corner three, but Kevin Durant fouled-out of the game on a pretty weak rip-through foul call. Tobias Harris got a tough layup to fall to score the Clippers first points in nearly seven minutes, but Klay Thompson answered with a one-foot fadeaway from the left elbow. Montrezl Harrell then got a tough and-1 shot to fall from under the hoop, and he hit the free throw to tie the game at 111. Klay Thompson hit a stepback wing jumper to get the lead again, but Lou Williams got and and-1 shot to fall and the Clippers had a lead again. Lou Williams then drew another foul and he hit two more free throws to extend the lead to three points. Steve Kerr called timeout between free throws with the Clippers leading 115-113 and 1:21 left to play. Klay Thompson then tied the game on a reload three, but Lou Williams answered with a layup. Kevon Looney then got stuffed at the hoop twice on the same possession before fouling Lou Williams and sending him to the line again. He nailed all three free throws to put the game on ice. The Los Angeles Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors 121-116.

Kevin Durant finished as the game’s leading scorer with 33 points despite fouling out in overtime. He had those 33 points on 10/24 shooting with 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Klay Thompson caught fire down the stretch in the fourth quarter and overtime, finishing with 31 points on 31 points on 13/31 shooting (5/16 from three). Thos two players were the only real bright spots for the Warriors on offense. They finished the game shooting 46.8% (44/94) from the floor, 38.7% (12/31) from three, and 69.6% (16/23) from the line.

Lou Williams somehow led the Clippers in scoring with 25 points despite going 5/18 from the field while taking and missing every shot down the stretch for the Clippers. He did what he does best though, and like a version of James Harden without a beard and that comes off the bench, he went 14/14 from the line. Montrezl Harrell was a BEAST against the Warriors on both ends, finishing with 23 points (10/13), eight rebounds, and four blocks. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 18 points (8/11), Tobias Harris had 17 (7/18), Danilo Gallinari had 14 (3/12), and Marcin Gortat had 12 (4/5). The Clippers finished the game shooting a combined 47.3% (43/91) from the floor, 25% (5/20) from three, and 88.2% (30/34) from the charity stripe.

The Warriors looked out of this game right from the jump, and they didn’t actually look engaged until late in the fourth quarter on their massive run. They had chances to put it away in the midst of that run and in overtime, but they just couldn’t get out of their own way. They committed 17 turnovers, 14 of which came in the second half, and they sent the Clippers to the free throw like 34 times. They just couldn’t stop fouling, and that was the story of the night for the Warriors, they were missing open looks, turning the ball over, and fouling.

The Warriors were clearly frustrated with their performance, and that boiled over between the fourth quarter and overtime when Draymond Green and Kevin Durant were jawing at each other on the bench. KD wanted the ball with 4 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and was yelling and clapping to get Draymond’s attention, but Draymond pushed the pace, dribbled it up himself, fell down, and lost the ball as the clock expired. There really isn’t that much to look into here, and if people make a big deal about it, that tells you more about them than the actual situation or players.

Here’s the thing: Kevin Durant would not have gotten the ball up and gotten a good look after getting the ball passed to him when he was nearly at the opposite three-point line with less than four seconds to play. I understand the frustration, but it wasn’t going to happen. Draymond also wasn’t going to get a good shot for himself by pushing the pace, but he might have caught the Clippers off guard, found someone open, and got a quick shot off. KD was the hot hand and wanted the last shot, and Draymond wanted to catch the Clippers sleeping, that’s all it was. If you’ve never got in an argument playing basketball about a similar situation than I don’t want to play with  you, that’s just how the sport goes.

There is no reason for the Warriors to freak out about a loss in early November to the Los Angeles Clippers, it’s just one game out of 82, and the Warriors are still 11-3 with their two-time MVP point guard coming back. If anything, this game helped strengthen Stephen Curry’s MVP resume as the team just looked disjointed without him, he truly is this Warriors team’s Tim Duncan.

In the end, it is probably better for the Warriors to have their annual hungover in LA game against the Clippers than against the Lakers, so that’s a plus, but at the end of the day they just have to flush this game and move on.

The Warriors play next on Tuesday, November 13, at home against the Atlanta Hawks at 7:30 p.m.

Jackson WilliamsComment