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Clippers Drop Game 1 To Warriors
After a tight first half in which the lead changed hands several times the Los Angeles Clippers fell behind by double digits early in the fourth quarter. Like they have so many times this season the Clippers roared back into the game, eventually tying it at 105, only to see the Golden State Warriors score the final four points of the game to earn an important game one victory. Golden State has now taken home court advantage in the series and set up a must-win game two for the Clippers. In a playoff series that features two up-tempo teams the first half was bogged down by 29 total foul calls, with the Warriors successful getting both Blake Griffin and later Chris Paul in foul trouble.
Griffin would eventually foul out of the game with under a minute left, finishing with just sixteen points, well below his season average. Paul, who had a key turnover late as well as two missed free throws, led Los Angeles with 28 points. JJ Redick, who recently returned from injury, was a deep threat all game and finished with 22 points. The Clippers made a valiant comeback to get back into the game but in the end they lost a key opening game in what promises to be an extremely competitive series. After stealing home court advantage the Warriors will have the opportunity to take a commanding lead Monday night at STAPLES Center. For the Clippers it's one of the biggest playoff games in the last three seasons. Win or lose the Clippers are headed to Oracle Arena, one of the loudest home environments in the NBA
The Warriors victory, without center Andrew Bogut, helped highlight some of the deficiencies the Clippers have on defense, specifically perimeter defense. Warriors guard Stephon Curry was consistently able to get into the lane via dribble drive, opening up passing lanes and perimeter shots. Curry didn't have his best shooting game and turned the ball over six times, but his constant penetration set up a big three point shooting effort from Klay Thompson and several easy interior buckets for power forward David Lee. Thompson led the Warriors with 22 points including four three pointers, while Lee scored 20 on 8 of 13 shooting.
The Clippers bench, a major strength each of the past two seasons, struggled shooting on Saturday with Jamal Crawford and Danny Granger finishing just 3 for 17. It was a tough playoff opener for the two veterans, who both dealt with injuries toward the end of the regular season. Add in Darren Collison, who shot just 2 for 9 and the Clippers three main bench players were a combined 5 for 26. The poor shooting by their backups, combined with Griffin's foul trouble, was the story of the game-along with shaky officiating.
Monday night the Clippers will look to get off to a fast start to build momentum heading into the mid-week games in San Jose. They'll face a hostile crowd at Oracle Arena, but will have the same opportunity to take back home court advantage the Warriors had, provided they win on Monday night.
Clippers playoff tickets are on sale now for the first round. Dates and times of the games are to be announced for all playoff games. Barry's Tickets offers a complete refund on all Clippers playoff tickets if the games are not played our you can apply it to another game.
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