Los Angeles, CA — In front of a sold out Game 3 crowd at the Staples Center, the Golden State Warriors rebounded from a historic loss and pulled out an impressive 132-105 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.
After giving up a 31-point lead on Tuesday night (the biggest blown lead in NBA Playoffs history), it was highly anticipated that this would be a much closer and more physical game. And it didn’t disappoint; five technical fouls were committed during the game.
The first quarter is where everything went wild. Golden State forward Kevin Durant had two fouls within that time, which was uncharacteristic. On one play he got pushed and pulled then stripped without a foul called as he looked over at head coach Steve Kerr for sympathy. Once he started playing upset it was over; from that point Durant went 5-of-5 from the field along with 2-for-2 from the charity stripe.
Once he came out of the game he passed the torch to Steph Curry, who scored 13 in the first quarter. They came out on fire and it wasn’t getting burnt out. Everyone made use of their talents, as Andrew Bogut mentioned after the game.
“I know my role on this team is to be a voice defensively…we have enough scorers,” Bogut (8 pts, 14 reb) said.
The Warriors’ defense was a lot to battle because they rotated almost perfectly. Guard Klay Thompson added fuel to the fire, saying that they came in ready to fight.
“We still had a bad taste from last game in my mind. Our defense was incredible,” Thompson said.
The Clippers weren’t taking their time on shots as they took wild shots in the paint due to Golden State’s height, and with 11 blocked shots, they made it tougher on themselves.
The best highlight of the game was possibly Los Angeles forward Montrezl Harrell’s celebration dance after he made a layup after drawing the foul. He missed that particular free throw but ended the game with 15 points. The pick and roll drop-offs worked but it was shocking to see that it wasn’t used much in this game because it would have spread the offense more. Not many were cutting or setting off the ball screens.
The biggest issue of Game 3 was the questionable calls. Each time the replay showed on the Jumbotron, the Clippers fans were booing because you could see the obvious mistakes that kept being made. Even the double tech between Durant and forward Draymond Green was off because they both stated “We were just talking!” at the same time after the call was made.
When asked how he managed to keep a level head in the game, Durant advised a simple philosophy.“I kept playing the same, I felt like the first two weren’t fouls,” Kevin Durant stated in his post game presser.
Stephen Curry had three fouls before halftime and surprisingly enough the Clippers didn’t try to get him in more foul trouble. He ended the game with 21 points after hitting an impressive 4-of-6 from the three-point line and 7-of-11 from the field. Kevin Durant led all scores with a piping hot 38 points and 7 assists. The kicker was that he only played 29 minutes; Durant was benched the entire fourth quarter.
Los Angeles forward Danilo Gallinari had a tough night shooting as he was 2-of-13 from the field with 26 minutes of play. Leading the Clippers was Ivica Zubac as he finished with a strong double-double of 18 points and 15 rebounds in just 17 minutes. Behind him was Lou Williams with 16 points.
With a 2-1 series lead, Golden State has one more game to play in Los Angeles before going home to Oakland. With the goal to head home with a 3-1 lead, Sunday’s Game 4 will have high stakes for the Warriors.