The bad blood will between the two teams will now get an extra injection from the humiliating experience the Golden State Warriors went through in game 2, losing 138-98 to the Los Angeles Clippers as Blake Griffin took out his frustration on the opponents after being shackled and limited by fouls in the first game.
Griffin finished with 35 points to set a new playoff career high for him. He was 13-of-17 from the field, not making a single mistake before sitting out the entire fourth quarter. After playing only 19 minutes in the first game due to foul trouble (and fouling out), Griffin was just as aggressive but more focused, and the game was also called better by the refs, who seemed to be a bit more fairer and even on their calls this time.
As Griffin said after the game – the more aggressive teams enjoys calls not being made. The Clippers were simply relentless on defense in the start of the game, as the Warriors turned the ball over on 26% of their possessions, their worse since 2002. They turned the ball over 26 times overall in what was a big problem for them during certain stretches this season, as slow and predictable ball movement was too easy for the Clippers to pick off.
Dunks, alley oops and easy baskets. The Clippers had plenty of chances to run the floor, scoring 25 fast break points which gave Griffin and DeAndre Jordan (11 points, 9 rebounds) plenty of opportunities to show their high flying antics. Chris Paul scored 12 points to go with his 10 assists as the Clippers finished with 56.6% from the field and 48% from beyond the arc, playing smart and patient basketball unlike their first game in the series.
Shoot when you’re open, move the ball when you’re not. That seemed to be the basis of their offensive philosophy going into the game, which worked perfectly considering so many mistakes committed by the Warriors. Stephen Curry seemed to be the only player to show up for the Warriors, scoring 24 points and adding 11 assists, as the theories about him not scoring more than 20 points helping the Warriors win got another solidifying factor.
Danny Granger managed to pick up six fouls in only 18 minutes (scoring 15 points in plenty of garbage time) and six technical fouls were called during the game, including on Stephen Curry for throwing his mouth piece and on Doc Rivers during a double technical moment with Jermaine O’Neal. Players couldn’t stop jawing at each other in what seemed like a preview for game 3 later this week, as there was nothing left to say or do about the current game on the Staples Center court.
A wake up call? Probably. The Warriors probably played the best game they could in game 1, while a lot of things went wrong for the Clippers, who are probably the better team but now need to work harder to prove it. A 40-point blowout is one way to respond, but the Warriors never look this bad on consecutive games. The problem for Mark Jackson will be channeling the frustration into a smarter display, because starting out so scattered and confused once more will ruin the great work they did by stealing one game on the road.