An hour before tipoff, Mark Jackson told reporters, “We didn’t come here to win one game.” Maybe they went in thinking they wouldn’t be satisfied with a split, but it looked like the Warriors were already in Oakland by the time this game was midway through the second quarter, and things progressively got worse for Golden State in a 138-98 Game 2 drubbing that evened their first round series with the Clippers.
“We were bad. You think about giving up 138 points, you think about them scoring 30 in every quarter, you think about them shooting almost 57% from the field,” Jackson said. “We got drilled.”
What’s there to say about this game? Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan were ferocious from the start, which was the fear all along going into this series. Griffin led the way offensively, with 35 points on 13-of-17 shooting. He was a beast in transition, he was unstoppable around the rim, and his jumper was on point. Jordan blocked five shots, and it seemed like he blocked 12. It almost appeared as if he swallowed David Lee whole at one point, when Lee mistakenly thought he could dunk over the man who finished third in the Defensive Player of the Year voting.
“I think he was trying to get a revote from you guys tonight,” said Doc Rivers. “I thought he was awesome. He blocked a couple shots where the guy in front of him was trying to block the shot, he jumped over his own guy to block the shot. He’s been just dominant for us.”
Throw in the rest of the Clippers playing very well (when 58-year-old Hedo Turkoglu is scoring 13 points in 14 minutes, you know it’s not your night), and this series seemed to turn on a dime (Chris Paul had 10 of those, by the way). Can the Warriors bounce back? Crazier things have happened, but the talent disparity between these two teams seemed awfully wide on Monday night.
In Game 1, the Clippers jumped out to a large lead. But Griffin picked up his second foul early, and we didn’t see much of him. Plus, he wasn’t the same player when he was in the game. Game 2 saw Los Angeles grab another double-digit first quarter advantage. The difference this time was Griffin, who didn’t commit a single foul and was clearly the best player on the floor. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Lee’s superb second half didn’t carry over to this game at all.
“Obviously we’re undermanned at the big position,” said Stephen Curry, who finished with 24 points after just four in the first half. “We’ve got to find ways to deter (Griffin) from getting good post position.”
That might have been a difficult task, even with a healthy Andrew Bogut. Without Bogut, it appears nearly impossible unless Lee and others get Griffin into foul trouble. The Warriors have a couple days to figure out some ways to change the course of a series where home court appears to be their only advantage after an extremely humbling loss.
“We wanted to be greedy tonight and get a win. For it to go so bad, it’s hard to push it aside right now. We’ll definitely be good to go on Thursday,” Curry said.
“But right now you’re frustrated because you have the opportunity to go up 2-0 and they outplayed us from start to finish.”
— I couldn’t tell what occurred during this play because my nose was bleeding from the altitude at the secondary press row. Did Mo Speights give Glen Davis an elbow or a forearm shiver like I saw a lot of people saying, or was this flop-city?
(GIF via LOL KNBR Callers)
— A lot of fans are going to look at the foul discrepancy (the Warriors committed 33, compared to 22 for the Clippers and a lot of L.A.’s fouls were called late). But the Warriors turned the ball over 26 TIMES. That was twice as many turnovers as the Clippers had.
— Five Warriors had at least three turnovers, and Curry wasn’t one of them (he had two).
— Curry talked quite a bit about what he needs to do differently:
“I’ve got to make plays. I’ve got to find ways to not let them take me out of the game. Double teams, that’s the point and why they’re trying to do it. I’ve got to get to my spots where I can be efficient even if they’re going to double team me, so I get a pass to a guy that’s in a scoring area instead of just making the next swing pass to somebody who then has to make a play. I was able to do that in Game 1 a lot better. In the first half tonight I wasn’t able to get to my spots as well as I wanted to.
“I don’t know how many shots I’m going to take, I don’t know how that’s going to play out. But I can be aggressive in different ways in the pick-and-roll, which is what our offense is mostly predicated on.”
— The electricity in the building was on par with a preseason game against the Bucks. More on that tomorrow. It’s 12:30 am and the place where I’m staying is an hour away.