Can Oracle help lift Warriors past Clippers?

Can Oracle help lift Warriors past Clippers?
April 23, 2014, 4:15 pm
But we can't come in and expect the fans to will us to victory. We've got to do it together. If we don't take care of business, they won't have anything to cheer about.
Stephen Curry

Programming note: Coverage of Warriors-Clippers Game 3 starts Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live. Bookmark this page for comprehensive coverage of the Western Conference Quarterfinals series.

OAKLAND – The Warriors on Wednesday expressed a couple reasons for their eagerness to resume in their first-round Western Conference playoff series with the Clippers on Thursday night.

One, they feel an acute need to get beyond their 138-98 loss in Game 2 on Monday.

And, two, they want to prove that they can be as imposing as Oracle Arena.

"We know it's going to be electric," forward Andre Iguodala said before practice Wednesday. "But we also understand they're not going to be able to defend for us or execute for us.

"So we've got to put on a good show for them and be ready try and get two wins.''

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After splitting Games 1 and 2 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Warriors own homecourt advantage in the best-of-seven series. The Clippers can't win it without at least one victory in Oakland.

Winning at Oracle has been a tough task for first-round playoff opponents. The Warriors are undefeated in their last six first-round home games, with three wins over Denver last season and three over Dallas in 2006-07.

Moreover, the Clippers have lost five consecutive regular-season games at Oracle – and 15 of the last 17.


"For the new guys here and obviously for the Clippers that did not play for the Nuggets or the Spurs, it's going to be a brand new experience," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "These fans are the best. And this is the time of year where you embrace them. It's going to be a great environment tomorrow night.

"But with that being said, they won't get a stop, they won't get a score, they won't make a free throw. We've got to do our part."

Consider the words of Jackson and Iguodala notes of cautious optimism. One of the many lessons the Warriors learned during the regular season was that home cooking is no panacea.

They were only three games better at home (27-14 to 24-17) than on the road. Minnesota, for example, had an identical home record.

But Oracle in the postseason becomes a different beast. The Warriors believe they benefit from having 19,596 fans wearing gold T-shirts generating ear-splitting decibel levels. They also realize the noise can be orchestrated by their play.

It should be a distinct advantage, Stephen Curry said, if the team does its part.


"We've always said this is the best arena in the NBA, especially during the playoffs," he said. "It's hard to explain to somebody who hasn't been in here during one of those games.

"But we can't come in and expect the fans to will us to victory. We've got to do it together. If we don't take care of business, they won't have anything to cheer about. But if we come out and play the way we're supposed to, it's going to be electric."