Clippers recover on several fronts

By Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com

VIDEO: The Clippers lay the beat down on the Warriors in Game 2

LOS ANGELES – Monday night was about the Clippers crossing problems off the list.

First, the Warriors, the biggest trouble, the opponent that capitalized on a bad game from Chris Paul and barely a game from foul-ridden Blake Griffin to win the playoff opener Saturday. This time, again in Staples Center, L.A. took control early, played much better and with more passion and cruised to a 138-98 victory that tied the best-of-seven series 1-1 as it shifts to Oakland on Thursday.

Order restored.

But, Paul too. He had received two days of constant treatment for a strained right hamstring, enough of a concern that coach Doc Rivers, typically a clear communicator, was asked before Game 2 about the physical state of his All-Star point guard and said, “Ahhhh, I don’t know.”

Pressed for clarification, Rivers replied, “I don’t know. I don’t talk about that.” And then Rivers kept CP3 on the court deep into the third quarter with the lead in the 30s and played him 27 minutes in all when half that would have secured victory, a clear communication it was OK for everyone in the franchise to breathe again.

And Jamal Crawford. The Clippers had been trying to jump start him for a while after Crawford missed five games late in the regular season with a bad left leg, with Rivers telling his sixth man at the finale in Portland to shoot every time he had the ball, a sure sign of concern since no one before ever had to encourage Crawford to pull the trigger. Making 4-for-8 Monday night with three steals was promising, a response to the 2-for-11 shooting in the opener.

Griffin went from six fouls in 19 minutes to zero fouls — and 35 points and six rebounds — in 30 minute.¬†DeAndre Jordan went from 45 minutes Saturday to 30. But the highlights were¬†Paul getting healthy, top reserve Crawford getting back on track, even starter J.J. Redick getting in another game while still able.

Redick joined the list of concerns because the bulging disc in the lower back that sidelined him for 21 games from Feb. 18 to April 2. He looked good in the opener, with 22 points and eight baskets in 11 tries, and went another 24 minutes Monday. But Rivers made it seem inevitable that Redick will have to sit an entire game at some stage of the playoffs. That’s easier to manage if Crawford has returned to a good place.

“He’s feeling better than what he did, but there’s going to be no hundred percent for him this year for sure and we know that,” Rivers said. “We’re prepared if he has to miss a game. We know that that could happen because that’s realistic. Anybody’s who has had a (bad) back understands that. We’re just going to play him until he says he needs a break. And when he does, somebody has to cover for him.”

The largest margin of victory in the Clippers’ playoff history and the first 40-point difference in the playoffs in the entire league since the Magic beat the Hawks by 43 on May 4, 2010, came with L.A. shooting 56.6 percent and committing 13 turnovers, half as many as the Warriors. It came with a playoff career high from Griffin in scoring. But perhaps most of all, it came with the comfort of the big picture that the Clipper backcourt had a good night amid weeks of injury woes and choppy play.

“It’s very important because that’s what we’ve kind if leaned on all season,” Crawford said of the core group of guards. “We just got back to how we played in the regular season. I think the first game of the playoffs, I looked around the league, most guys are almost too amped for the first game. It happened, but we settled down and played the way we played to get in this position.”

Another problem crossed off.

39 Comments

  1. Rob V says:

    Clips are a loaded team.just not loaded enough to win a championship.

  2. jimbo says:

    Hey Big Al, get behind your Clippers as they are getting closer to championship time. The conference finals will be a major milestone for them this year, maybe finals next season… your Lakers on the other hand will need the next 5 years to recover from the Bussmess. Two more years with Kobe’s ball and chain $50mil and some lucky drafts and/or trades after that will be required to get them back to the playoffs. Then they will need a coach adept at teaching defense to mold the team’s foundation back into that of a championship contender. Bottom line… the Clippers will beat the Lakers to a finals appearance, so enjoy Griffin and company !

  3. AdamOfEngland says:

    Go Clippers! #TeamBlake

  4. jack says:

    When a team lost by a 40 point margin in a playoff, they may not go to the next round. It is so clear that warriors may not survive Spurs or OKC. Good shooters are only good for so long. Clippers in 6.

  5. okc2014 says:

    I’m happy for the LA Flippers. They evened up the score. Let’s go to game 7 and may the best man win (Cliff or Chris?). I’m not leaning on either of these teams, just like watching good playoff basketball. Unlike the Spurs/Mavs series, I can actually stay awake. LOL.

  6. Rickson says:

    Clippers don’t mess around i’m sure they will dominate in the playoff

  7. Bruiser Brody says:

    Lob City will be Sob City, again.

    • DON’T BE SUCH A SORE LOSER. YOU KNOW 4 YOURSELF L.A.HAS IT GOIN ON. JUST STOP YOUR BELLY-ACHING AND WISH US WELL IN ROUND 2.WE GOT THE SQUAD, COACH , TALENT, ATHLETICISM,DRIVE. SO DO YOURSELF A FAVOR: JUST GET ON BOARD CAUSE WE’RE ON OUR WAY. MAN, OH MAN HOW BOUT THEM CLIPPERS? SEE YA AT THE CELEBRATION. 4 YOU , THECOST IS FREE.

  8. Bruiser Brody says:

    Oh, the Clippers decided to show up to game2???

  9. vinsanefan says:

    Does Klay Thompson still think that Blake Griffin plays like an out of control bull in a china closet? Warriors just got punked by the Clippers.

  10. Game Time says:

    And what are you a die hard Warriors fan? Yeah those have been in around forever huh? Please count the amount of high flying lobs you saw last night and I bet you it was less than five. Let me rephrase what I said. Warriors would be a weak matchup against OKC in the 2nd round and that is why they don’t belong. Westbrook will eat Curry alive (no pun intended), and GS has NO ONE to put on Durant. Sefolosha can stop Klay or Iggy, and the rest of the Warriors team is what Jermaine O’Neal? OKC still has Jackson, Butler, and a seasoned Fisher who would provide additional trouble for GS. Really stop being a blind, jealous and bitter fan. I know it’s hard to accept the Clippers are no longer the laughing stock of the league. And really a depleted team? I guess you’re implying GS is going to deploy the only thing that can work for them and that’s playing dirty.

  11. Clashonbroadway says:

    This is what the Clips can do, and they can do what they did to GSW to basically any team in the league. I don’t see this series going to a game 7, Clips in 6! and i have been a fan since the Danny Manning days in the late 80’s so eat that GSW fans!!

  12. Rob V says:

    Clips came to play last night.they shot 57% and they stomped my W’s.but that’s ok.Clips are a loaded team.They’re trying to buy a championship.They’ve got a team full of FA’s.Out their 14 players on the roster they only drafted 3 of them(Jordan,Griffin & Bullock)Not trying to take anything away from them,they’re at full strength and they should be able to take a series from a team that is missing their starting center(Def player of the year candidate),has no player with a low post game and a bench that has been together 1 season.But the Clips better be careful.Ultimately down the line they will have to face The Spurs or The Thunder and if they can’t beat either one of them they will become the Washington Redskins of the NBA(trying to buy a championship & it’s not working) My W’s are still a few players away.We’re building the new arena in S.F.(major market)Hopefully we can attract some better players(Love’s a FA soon).We need some consistent low post play to open it up for the shooters.This season is not our season.Would be nice to get out of the 1st round but it is what it is.Props to the Clips,they spanked my W’s last night but if they do get by my W’s it will only get harder.

    • Game Time says:

      Most of the Clippers bench are playing together for the 1st year as well. David Lee was supposed to be have a game better than Blake Griffin according to some *cough*Laker/GS fans, but it’s apparent that he just benefits from the attention Curry, Klay or Bogut draws away.
      You think the Clippers can’t beat the Spurs or OKC. Have you checked their season meetings this season? It’s not far fetched. You think that sweeping last year from San Antonio means anything now? No, especially when the Blake Griffin and CP3 were playing on injuries. And what are you talking about buying championships. You realize GS had a mole in last year’s playoffs that help throw the game for the Nuggets, then he gets picked up by GS? I mean I don’t know exactly what you’re getting at with the drafting thing. Trading is part of the game and in your teams half of the relevant players where not original draft picks.

  13. BB says:

    Dubs Will Rise !! Its just 1 bad game, and Warriors are known to give away some games here and there. Bogut missing is hurting us real bad, but I have no doubt about capabilities of the rest. Did anybody look at Steph’s and Thomson’s faces during 4th quarter. Man, clippers are up for a beating in game 3.. and I mean really really bad. Go Dubs.

    • BORN 2 run says:

      L.A. just needs 2 take 2 in OAKLAND and the WARRIORS ARE HISTORY. WAY to get your MIND back in the GAME, BLAKE. TIGHTEN UP on tha BOARDS, AND OH-ME , OH-MY , DID THEY PLAY D OR DID THEY PLAY D? LOOK-OUT,OAKLAND: LOB CITY IS HEADING YOUR WAY. ONWARD 2 ROUND 2. TIRED OF DEESE HATERS.

  14. Your mama says:

    Warriors dont belong in the 2nd round? You must be a (Lakers) clippers fan. What makes you want to say they don’t belong in the 2nd round? Just because you rather see high flying lob’s? The result of last nights game was because LA contained Curry and Thompson throughout the whole night which the ball was spread across the floor. Come game 3, Golden State will fix their mistakes and will capitalize a soon to be depleted LA team. Enter Roaracle Arena, this game just shifted back into Golden State’s hands.

    • Clips says:

      So true…and Im a Clippers fan. Ask a clippers fan who Loy Vaught is and if they go, “huh?” they are a fair weather Lakers Fan…hate LA fans.

  15. Big Al says:

    The Clippers so want to take over L.A. (which they won’t). They will probably beat the Warriors with Bogut’s absence, but they have no way past the Spurs or Thunder. They won’t be NBA champions, guaranteed.

    • BORN 2 run says:

      WAY 2 CUME BACK CLIPPERS. NO QUESTION YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO GO ALL THE WAY. SMARTER BALL PLAY BLAKE: 35PTS,(CAREER PLAYOFF HIGH), 0 FOULS in 30 min. of play. WAY TO PUT DEM HATERS IN DER PLACE(GARBAGE CAN) AND PLAY YOUR STYLE OF PLAY. OH YEAH,DID YU CEE THAT DUNK? HAVE FUN CP3AND THE CREW. SEE YALL IN ROUND 2.

    • Game Time says:

      Even if they don’t have a big chance what are they going to do just give up. Loser mentality you have there Big Al.

  16. Jay says:

    Granger came to play, he was focused and his size is something the Warriors didn’t handle well. Griffin was a monster and that first game a shame with the over blown whistle calls…. Clippers are the better team, they should win out in the end.

  17. Game Time says:

    Warriors are going to go back home and resort to trying to get Blake T’d up. It’s their only hope. Last night Clippers took them off the 3pt line and the result was a 40pt blowout. Sorry but Warriors don’t belong in the 2nd round. Personally I don’t want to see a series where Curry and Klay Thompson jacking up threes all night and nothing else is happing for the team.

  18. No clippers,go warriors says:

    The warriors are going to win this series 4-1,or 4-2.I know that we’re going to win at our home,and we may or may not win Game 5,but I know we will win Game 6.

    • BORN 2 run says:

      TAKE 2 IN OAKLAND AND DIS SERIES IS IN DA BAG.MY BOY BLAKE: 35 PTS(CAREER PLAYOFF HIGH) ZERO FOULS, SOME STIFLIN D, 4 MORE 3 POINTERS AND DIS IS ALL BUT OVER. GO CLIPPERS.

  19. ciugaz says:

    We’ ll find out soon if Clippers lost game one just because of fouls trouble and if the Warriors are an overrated team…after yesterday match it looks a bit like that!

  20. maxout34 says:

    Big win for the Clips, now the big question is “can the Warriors defend homecourt and take a strangle hold on this series?”

  21. maxout34 says:

    These types of blowouts do tend to happen in the playoffs but, actually this game looked more like what I envisioned for this series. I do not see this as a seven game series by any stretch. With GSW stealing away game one I do expect it to stretch to at least six games. However, I expect Doc to manage his bigs differently when they get to Oakland. Griffin should runaway with series MVP in this one.

    • Game Time says:

      When a team is getting blown out by 40pts it’s a sign they won’t make the 2nd round. You can go pull stats and I’m sure there has not been a team that lost a game by that margin in the 1st round and came back to win a series.

      • Your mama says:

        Looks like you pulled out stats of your own. Now the real question is, have you been a clippers fan since Day 1? Aha

      • Game Time says:

        Since 95….

        Didn’t need to pull stats. Just never recalled seeing a that happen, although it could have before my time….

  22. dunjav2013 says:

    Reblogged this on dunjav.

  23. Larry says:

    Man.. you forgot to mention Danny Granger.. isnt he important to this team, because crawford is not 100%… granger had 15 pts, 3-4 3 point shooting performance and 6-10 overall…

    • The Voice Of Reason says:

      Totally agree! Granger is the wild card for the Clippers in the playoffs – he’s been there and he is veteran who can score and defend (when healthy). Griffin, CP3, Crawford and Collison will all get their points, but Granger is a 2-3 guy who will draw the defense and open up the lane. Go Clippers :)

      • NOW THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT! CLIPPERS GOT IT GOIN ON, AS THE VOICE OF REASON SAYS. NOW COMES THE VOICE OF TRUTH: CLIPPERS ROUND 2 NEXT OPPONENT! FINALLY, WE GOT THE SQUAD!