Rapid Reaction: Warriors 109, Clippers 105
April, 19, 2014
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- Time and again over the final month of the season, the Los Angeles Clippers found themselves down by double digits in the fourth quarter and time and again they found a way to come back and win.
Against the Golden State Warriors in the first game of their first-round series, however, the Clippers could not complete the comeback and ended up losing 109-105.
It was game dominated by the officials, who called 51 fouls, which led to 60 free throws. Blake Griffin and Andre Iguodala each played less than 20 minutes and both players fouled out.
How it happened: The Clippers jumped out to a 12-1 lead to start the game and looked as if they might run away with Game 1 before the Warriors came back and took control in the second half. The Warriors took an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Clippers stormed back and took the lead but were not able to hold on. It was the first time this season the Clippers lost a game in which they led at home during the fourth quarter. They were 32-0 before Saturday.
What it means: The Clippers lost home-court advantage after playing for it all season. They must now win a game at Golden State to win this series, which is something they haven't done since Dec 25, 2011.
Hits: Chris Paul finished with 28 points and came up big in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 points in the final period. He did miss two free throws and had a key turnover at the end of the game, but the Clippers wouldn't have had a chance to win without his play in the fourth quarter. J.J. Redick had a career playoff effort, scoring 22 points and hitting 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Griffin had 16 points in only 19 minutes.
Misses: The referees essentially took Griffin and Iguodala out of this game. Griffin played less than four minutes in the first half with three fouls and fouled out on a lose ball call with the score tied and 48.5 second left. Iguodala played less than 19 minutes in the game and had four fouls in the first half before fouling out.
Stat of the game: There were 51 combined fouls called. The referees clearly wanted both teams to know that their physicality was only going to go so far in the playoffs. "I think the hype may have had an impact on how this game was called," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
Up next: The Clippers will take on the Warriors in Game 2 of their first-round series on Tuesday at Staples Center.