The LA Clippers fell to the Golden State Warriors in a game that really showed the gap between the two groups.
The LA Clippers’ Blake Griffin has been on a tear of recent and faced his biggest test thus far in the form of the defending champions last night. Unfortunately, the Clippers lacked many of the things that made them successful in the first few games, such as ball movement, running in transition and fast decisions. The length of the Warriors yet again was a problem for the Clippers.
Griffin and the Clippers were close early, trailing 34-28 in the first. However, that would be the closest they would get after the Warriors scored 40 points in the second quarter.
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Danilo Gallinari looked more fluid and was able to make a bigger impact than his previous games by posting 19 points on 8-15 shooting. Griffin mustered only 16 points, which is ten points less than his season average. Austin Rivers added only five points while starting in place of injured Milos Teodosic. Deandre Jordan added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Stephen Curry looked in mid-season form, scoring 31 points, including going 7-11 from 3. Kevin Durant scored only 19 points, but played less than 30 minutes. The only Warriors’ starter to play more than 30 minutes was Draymond Green with 31 minutes of solid defense.
The Clippers went into half time down 17 points but made a run to get within 9 points in the 3rd. The Warriors adjusted and the route was on after going up by double digits again later in the 3rd.
The Clippers starters played some of the fourth but with 6:31 left and the game all but over, Doc Rivers pulled his team.
Sindarius Thornwell played some meaningful minutes due to Doc trying to make an effort to control the starting guard’s minutes. With Milo Teodosic out for an undetermined amount of time, the rookie will get some rotation minutes and good experience.
He played defense well on the guards, despite being young. It does help that Thornwell is 6’5” and can guard multiple positions. His offense was not on display, but with a backing from Jerry West, he could grow into a really nice player after being drafted and traded to the Clippers.
Griffin running the offense was not the problem. He needs more help from his teammates by cutting or moving to help make passing out of double teams easier. More often than not, Blake would be doubled and kick it out, only for an open shot to be missed. Other times, Blake had nowhere to go and turned it over.
The team needs to find some more shooting because when playing against the Warriors they need to have other players help and knock down shots. This is not to say Griffin is off the hook, because some of his passes went into traffic and resulted in a turn over and easy bucket on the other end.
We have to remember that it is still early in the season. The Warriors were a litmus test and proved that the LA Clippers are not on their level. Now, we get to see how this team rebounds after getting stomped. Tune in Wednesday as the team faces Dallas and make sure to follow along with us on Twitter!