Rewind: Jordan's historic night dooms Warriors in Game 5

Rewind: Jordan's historic night dooms Warriors in Game 5
April 30, 2014, 2:00 am
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(Jordan) hurt us at the rim, he hurt us one second-shot opportunities. He had a big night. Some of it had to do with him and some of it had to do with our breakdowns.
Mark Jackson

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LOS ANGELES – It wasn't exactly a massive wave of Clippers emotion that knocked off the Warriors in Game 5. More like one man on a mission to destroy and conquer.

And when Los Angeles center DeAndre Jordan was finished, so were the Warriors.

Jordan recovered from his worst game of this series and delivered his best, which sent the Warriors to a 113-103 loss Tuesday night at sold-out Staples Center.

One game after clobbering Los Angeles in Game 4 last Sunday to even the best-of-seven series, the Warriors are down three games to two going into Game 6 on Thursday night at Oracle Arena.

The Clippers clearly got a shot of adrenaline after their owner, Donald Sterling, received a lifetime ban from NBA commissioner Adam Silver eight hours before tipoff. The ban came as a result of an audio recording of a racist rant by Sterling that was released late last Friday night and clearly affected the Clippers entering Game 4.

[INSTANT REPLAY: Jordan, Clippers take decisive Game 5 from Warriors]

Players around the league were swept up in the controversy until Silver announced his punishment, which certainly seemed to lift the Clippers out of a fog. They were much more engaged on Thursday, with Jordan leading the way, becoming the first player in NBA history to score 25 points, grab 18 rebounds and block four shots while shooting at least 80 percent.

"When he plays like that, he takes our team to another level," Clippers star Blake Griffin said.

"(Jordan) hurt us at the rim, he hurt us one second-shot opportunities," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "He had a big night. Some of it had to do with him and some of it had to do with our breakdowns."

While Jordan was torching the Warriors, clearly benefiting from Draymond Green going to the bench with two fouls less than two minutes into the game, the Warriors once again had trouble creating room for Stephen Curry.

[RATTO: Clippers successfully force W's to win with 'everybody else']

The point guard, whose 33-point game on Sunday anchored the Game 4 win, was held to 17 points. He managed only 10 shots. Moreover, he finished with only four assists while committing eight turnovers.

"Steph knows he's got to be better," Jackson said. "Tonight at times he tried to thread the needle a little bit too much."

When Curry is that far off his game, the Warriors need exceptional efforts on offensive multiple fronts to have a chance. That did not take place.

"We scored 103 points," Curry said. "That's plenty to win.

"I'd like to get more shots, but if other guys are open and able to make plays, then I'm doing my job and they're doing their job too."

Not well enough on this night. The Clippers, particularly Jordan, were too wired and too determined to let the Warriors steal one with anything less than their "A'' game.

After going scoreless with six rebounds in Game 4, Jordan made a concession and a vow to Rivers.

"He texted me right after we got back to L.A. and said, `That wasn't me, and I will be back.' I didn't know he meant that."

Oh, he meant it. Just ask the Warriors.

THE GOOD: Andre Iguodala played his second consecutive strong game, contributing 18 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and two steals.

David Lee and Green were aggressive on the glass, combining for 21 rebounds.

THE BAD: Curry's turnovers led to numerous transition baskets for the Clips, who thrive on that aspect at Staples. L.A. did a nice of anticipating his passes.

Green's early foul trouble threw the Warriors out of rhythm defensively, as replacement Marreese Speights does not rotate very well and is not as active.

The Warriors bench was outscored 36-19, with Jamal Crawford alone ringing up 19.

The Warriors did a decent job of containing Griffin but had no answer for Jordan. He was physically dominating.

THE TAKE: Under these circumstances, this was going to be a tough game for the Warriors to win. The Clippers played like a relieved group of men, freed from the burden of the preoccupation. When Green got into early foul trouble, Jordan seemed to take it as a license to own the game. He had 10 points and five rebounds in the opening quarter.

If one of the L.A. big men gets rolling, there isn't a lot the Warriors can do to stop it. Where Griffin succeeded in Games 3 and 4, Jordan delivered in Game 5. This may be the first game of this series in which the Warriors sorely missed injured center Andrew Bogut.