NBA Playoffs 2015: Clippers-Spurs Game 1, By the Numbers


No one expected the Clippers to do what they did in Game 1 of their first round series against the San Antonio Spurs.

Behind 32 points from Chris Paul, accompanied with numerous highlight players from the DeAndre JordanBlake Griffin that got the Staples Center into the matchup.

How the Clippers won it? By scoring more points obviously, but here are some numbers that point to exactly what led to Los Angeles leading 1-0 in the series.

61.4%: The Point God couldn’t be stopped last night and no number better represents his half-court dominance outside of the general points per game than the Chris Paul shooting 61.4% in pull-up shots (8-of-13).

3: Normally a precious number that represents one’s good luck, it was the opposite for San Antonio as the Spurs went 3-of-10 in the paint when guarded by DeAndre Jordan. That’s a “Defensive Player of the Year” worthy statistic and if Jordan can keep this type of play up, the Spurs may be in trouble as lengthy, athletic defenders have a reputation for putting a chink in the mighty San Antonio armor.

And for kicks, three also represents the numbers of times Blake Griffin dunked on Aron Baynes in the third quarter.

33.3: No number is more likely to change for the San Antonio Spurs than this one — part of why the defending champions ‘struggled’ on offense is because they were unable to knock down their catch-and-shoot shots, specifically from three as the team missed 16 of their 24 attempts from behind the line, per SportsVU. The biggest culprit? Danny Green, who shot 1-of-5 on catch-and-shoot three-point attempts.

26-12-6-3-3: A lot of numbers here, but they represent how rare a night Blake Griffin had as he became the second player in NBA history to post 26 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals in a playoff game. The first? His current opposition Tim Duncan, who did so in Game 1 of the 2003 NBA Finals (to be specific, Duncan wow’d with 32 points, 20 rebounds, 6 assists, 7 blocks and 3 steals). Whether Griffin can play like this for the rest of the series is yet to be seen — Tiago Splitters‘ health could determine this — but his Game 1 was the right step in the right direction.

Apr 19, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) grabs a rebound over Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) and center DeAndre Jordan (6) during the third quarter in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

9:57: Speaking of Tiago Splitter, the center, coming off six consecutive missed games prior to starting in Game 1, played few minutes: 9:57 to be exact, coincidentally leading to a handful of Aron Baynes guarding Blake Griffin.

34.2: Hinting at Baynes again, the Clippers were simply dominate when he was on the floor, especially on the defensive end of the floor — per NBA Stats, Los Angeles posted a net rating of 34.2 when the center played; with Baynes off the floor, that number increased to 4.8.

15: a.k.a. the number of missed shots between Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, which included Ginobil missing several open shots. While Kawhi Leonard has proven to be the ‘star’ of this team, the Spurs can’t survive without offense from Ginobili and Parker — my guess is these numbers improve in Game 2.

23: Fundamentals is an area the Spurs have the Clippers beat, but when it comes to athleticism and speed, LA has a clear advantage, and it showed in Game 1 as the Clippers scored 23 fastbreak points to the Spurs’ 12.