A bad game of basketball is something quite rare in this exceptional postseason, but it does happen. The Golden State Warriors claimed game 6 in their series with the Los Angeles Clippers with a 100-99 win to make it 3-3, although no one was really impressed with the ability.
Stephen Curry led his team with 24 points, but he wasted most of his ammunition in the first quarter, finishing with only 9-of-24 from the field. The Warriors were only shooting 39.3% from the field and 29.2% from beyond the arc. Their free throw shooting was awful at 62.2%, going to the line 37 times. And still it wasn’t as bad as the Clippers, who shot worse (36.8% from the field) and made a few more mistakes in the form of four more turnovers.
Fouls were a huge problem in this game, officiated very poorly by the crew of John Goble, Bill Spooner and Monty McCutchen. Both teams shot a combined 70 shots from the line. David Lee fouled out, and so did Blake Griffin on a terrible call as he brushed the knee of Andre Iguodala who was pulling up for a three; J.J. Redick didn’t finish the game as well. Chris Paul and Draymond Green were one foul away from disqualification.
The Clippers can’t win with Griffin and Paul doing so badly from the field. They combined to score only 26 points on 11-of-34 from the field. Paul had problems with his left hand and was treated for them on the bench. The Clippers had no offensive rhythm and too many possessions of taking bad shots instead of going to their strengths which usually ends up being inside near the rim. Jamal Crawford with 19 points and some big shots was able to bring them back late in the fourth, but the Matt Barnes three that made it a one-point game came with only 1.1 seconds remaining, not enough time to pull off something special.
It was a huge game for Draymond Green, someone we’ve been constantly saying is going to have and step up for the Warriors to finish the upset. He had 14 points, 14 rebounds and 5 steals, playing bigger than he actually is once again. Moving him into the lineup was a forced move because of Jermaine O’Neal looking like a washed up player, but the Warriors are a better team for it.
The Clippers scored only 24 points in the paint / the Warriors finished with 42. Marreese Speights with 12 points in 12 minutes seemed to come out of nowhere and provide the Warriors with a spark they’ve been missing through some of their games in this series. Andre Iguodala has re-found his scoring touch over the last three games, scoring 15 points including that big 3-pointer that sent Griffin to the bench for good late in the game.
A series that’s hard to read and gauge. The Clippers didn’t seem urgent to finish it off. Maybe they’re confident they can pull it off at home no matter what. Urgency didn’t seem to be part of the Warriors as well despite the win and their backs to the wall. Maybe it was something about the lost rhythm “thanks” to the officials, but for a game that had so much riding on its result, there seemed to be a lot less emotion than you’d expect.