Blake Griffin scored a game-high 27 points. (Facebook/Los Angeles Clippers)
Although the Clippers played at home last night for the first time in nearly two weeks, they entered Thursday night’s game at the Golden State Warriors’ Oracle Arena playing their ninth straight game in nine different cities.
The Clippers fell behind early and were never fully able to recover, losing 111-92 against a Warriors team that was firing on all cylinders.
1st Quarter: The Clippers were down 15-4 early. Griffin missed his first three shots and the Clippers were clearly not ready for the Warriors’ pace.
The Clippers made it closer near the end of the quarter, but a few late buckets gave Golden State a 32-21 lead at the end of one.
Doc Rivers voiced his displeasure before the start of the second, saying “We’re very lucky to have 21 points.”
2nd Quarter: Things got worse for the Clippers at the start of the second, as the Warriors led by as many as 19 points.
DeAndre Jordan was unable to make his presence felt defensively, and his feet were never really set in time to disrupt Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes from driving into the lane.
But after missing his first three shots, Griffin made nine consecutive field goals to cut the Warriors’ lead to 10 with 2:10 remaining.
Griffin led all scorers in the first half and the Clippers trailed 64-56 at the break.
3rd Quarter: The Clippers missed their first eight shots of the second half and were dreadful defensively, as the Warriors pushed their lead to 22 midway through the third.
The Warriors outscored the Clippers 26-11 in the third and led 90-67 heading into the fourth.
The Clippers’ offense was abysmal. Jamal Crawford was 1-of-8 through three and the Clippers were 1-of-15 in the quarter, the worst shooting for a Clippers team in a quarter since shooting 1-of-18 in 1999.
4th Quarter: The Clippers were able to create a few defensive stops to jumpstart a comeback, but the offense was non-existent tonight.
Griffin led the Clippers with 27 points and Jordan added 20 rebounds.
Curry and David Lee each added 22 points for Golden State.
The Takeaway: The Clippers have been playing better than expected with Chris Paul out the past few weeks. Guys have been finding their niches and responding well to having increased responsibilities.
But this game highlighted their limitations without their All-NBA superstar.
Although Griffin has been phenomenal in assuming a bigger leadership role in Paul’s absence, there were times when the Clippers needed someone to slow the pace of the game and play a half-court game, especially during Golden State’s runs.
This game was not nearly as chippy as the past two games between these two opponents had been, but that didn’t take away any motivation from the Warriors.
The Clippers, on the other hand, could have used anything to awaken their dormant offense.
What’s Next?: The Clippers host the Utah Jazz Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Prime Ticket and can be heard on the radio on KFWB 980 AM.