Posted on April 25, 2019, by Travis Pulver
The only expectation fans have of the Los Angeles Clippers is that they lose to the Golden State Warriors so the Houston Rockets can face off against them in the Western Conference Semifinals.
While that could still very well happen, the Clippers had something else in mind when they took the court Wednesday night. They appeared to have their hearts set on playing at least one more game in front of a home crowd.
The game started off about as expected—with both teams scoring a lot of points very quickly. But what was surprising was that the Clippers were scoring more. When Landry Shamet hit a 24-foot three-pointer about midway through the quarter, he gave the Clippers a 20-15 lead.
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Of course, by the end of the quarter, all was right in the world as the Warriors had pulled ahead, 41-37. But things quickly went downhill for Golden State. In the second quarter, the Warriors struggled to hit their shots while the Clippers seemed to score at will. When the half came to a close, the Clippers led by eight, 71-63.
But Golden State fans knew better than to be worried. They had seen their team down before only to roar back in the third quarter. However, there was no roar when the third quarter got underway. In fact, the Clippers managed to extend their lead to ten points, 104-94.
Warriors fans still found no reason to worry. If any team can erase a ten-point deficit in the blink of an eye, it is their team. But this time it just didn’t happen.
Kevin Durant tied the game up at 116-116 with a dunk at the 3:29 mark. But then the Clippers responded with an 11-2 run that effectively iced the game. Danilo Gallinari capped off the scoring for the night with a pair of free throws making the final score, 129-121 for the Clippers.
After the game, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers expressed some pride in his team but cautioned against celebrating too much since they still trailed in the series, via ESPN:
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself. They’re up 3-2 still, but I just loved how we played, I really did. All we talked about is being us. I told our guys, they’ve been them in the series. We have yet to put a game where we are us through the game.”
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 45 points, but it was Lou Williams that stole the show with 33 points off the bench for the Clippers. Williams was one of five players to score in double figures for the Clippers including Montrezl Harrell who had 24 off the bench as well.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson both had productive nights with 24 and 22 points. But since the team as a whole did not play well on defense, it wasn’t close to enough.
Golden State will get a chance to close out the series again Friday night when it heads back to Los Angeles for Game Six. As could be expected, the Warriors are heavy favorites to win (-9.5 points).