Rapid Reaction: Clippers 138, Warriors 98
April, 21, 2014
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- Blake Griffin didn’t need much time getting dressed after Game 1 on Saturday.
He had played just 19 minutes in the game, less than four minutes in the first half and a grand total of 39 seconds in the second quarter. Griffin had never played fewer minutes in a game he wasn’t injured during his career.
After preparing for the postseason for the past six months, Griffin was effectively reduced to nothing more than a highly paid spectator in the first game of the playoffs and was on the bench with the game tied in the final minute.
On Monday, Griffin was again on the bench at the end of the game, but under entirely different circumstances.
Despite getting into early foul trouble and losing Game 1, Doc Rivers didn’t want Griffin to change anything for Game 2 on Monday. He wanted him to be the same dominating player he had seen all season and trust he wouldn’t be saddled with three fouls early.
“Blake needs to play even more intense and even more aggressive,” Rivers said. “And not go the other way.”
Rivers got what he wanted and Griffin responded with a career playoff-high 35 points in 30 minutes and had no fouls as the Clippers routed the Warriors 138-98 to tie their best-of-seven first-round series before going back to Oakland for Games 3 and 4.
It was the most points the Clippers have ever scored in a playoff game and their largest margin of victory ever in the postseason.
How it happened: This game was never in doubt. The Clippers stormed out to an 11-point lead in the first quarter that ballooned to a 28-point advantage in the second quarter, thanks in part to the Clippers’ second unit. The Clippers would go up 33 in the third quarter and 40 in the fourth quarter and essentially had their way with Golden State from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
What it means: It means the Clippers have tied the series up at 1-1 and now have to steal a game in Oakland to regain home-court advantage.
Hits: Griffin scored 35 points in 30 minutes on 13-of-17 shooting from the field and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. After being limited to 19 minutes in Game 1, he was on the floor for as long as he needed to be on Monday. DeAndre Jordan had 11 points, 9 rebounds and five blocks, Chris Paul had 12 points and 10 assists and Darren Collison had 12 points and 10 assists. Danny Granger and Hedo Turkoglu also combined for 28 points and six 3-pointers.
Misses: Hard to single out a miss on a night like this for the Clippers.
Stat of the game: Stephen Curry scored 20 points in the third quarter and the Clippers increased their lead by six points in the period.
Up next: The Clippers will take on the Warriors in Game 3 on Thursday at Oracle Arena.