Instant Replay: Griffin, Clippers crush Warriors, even series

Instant Replay: Griffin, Clippers crush Warriors, even series
April 21, 2014, 10:00 pm
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Blake Griffin led all scorers, tossing in 35 points in 30 minutes, making 13-of-17 from the floor. (USATI)


LOS ANGELES – The Warriors left Staples Center on Monday night with holes in their defense, bruises on their bodies and a thrashing on the scoreboard.

After their 138-98 loss to the Clippers in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series, the Warriors will have to settle for having homecourt advantage for the remainder of this best-of-seven series.

This one was never close, really, as the Clippers and star forward Blake Griffin took command early and the Warriors seemed powerless to do anything about it.

Behind their league-leading combination of size and athleticism, title-winning coach Doc Rivers and charismatic point guard Chris Paul, the Clippers tied the series at one game apiece and demonstrated why they are heavy favorites.

The Warriors committed an astonishing 26 turnovers, off which Los Angeles scored 27 points. The Warriors defense, so crucial to their success, allowed the Clippers to shoot 56.6 percent, including 48 percent from behind the 3-point line.

Three Warriors scored in double figures, led by Stephen Curry's 24 points. David Lee, Draymond Green and Jordan Crawford each added 11.

The Warriors shot 47.4 percent but made only 4 of 19 shots from beyond the arc.

So bad was the beating that Warriors coach Mark Jackson essentially surrendered the fourth quarter, sitting his entire starting lineup.

Griffin led all scorers, tossing in 35 points in 30 minutes, making 13-of-17 from the floor. Four other Clippers scored in double figures, including Paul who finished with 12 points and 10 assists.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: After a quiet first half during which he made only one shot from the field, Curry played the second half in a rage. He scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting, mostly drives into the paint for a variety of layups and floaters.

Frustrated with the amount of contact he had absorbed without drawing fouls, Curry's fury boiled over when he was whistled for a technical foul after throwing his mouthpiece with 2:01 left in the quarter.

TURNING POINT: The Clippers led from the opening tip, but accelerated through the ozone with a 21-9 run from the end of the first quarter to the midway point of the second.

That was enough to push the Los Angeles lead from eight (29-21) to 21 (50-29) with 7:12 left in the first half. The Warriors went into the locker room trailing 67-41 and never trimmed the margin below 25 in the second half.

INJURY REPORT: C Andrew Bogut (fractured rib) is out indefinitely and did not make the trip to Los Angeles. C Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery rehab) is on the trip but remains out indefinitely.

WHAT'S NEXT: The action on Thursday moves to Oakland, where Game 3 will be played at Oracle Arena. Game 4 follows on Sunday afternoon.

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