Warriors, Clippers ready for raucous Oracle Arena

By The Sports NetworkApril 24, 2014 at 10:46 AM
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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors will take their highly-entertaining series to Oracle Arena Thursday night for Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

Knotted at 1-1, Golden State returns home to its raucous fans and with great history against the Clippers as host. The Warriors have won five straight over LA at Oracle Arena, eight of nine and 15 of the last 17 meetings.

"It's going to be loud. It's going to be exciting," said LA's Blake Griffin. "I think every basketball player loves playing in an environment like that. I've heard good things about this crowd, so we're looking forward to it."

Griffin has been the key to this series, as expected by most.

After an ineffective, foul-plagued Game 1 loss where Griffin played less than 20 minutes before eventually fouling out, he put up one of the most efficiently brilliant performances in playoff history.

Griffin scored 35 points in under 30 minutes to lead the Clippers to an inspiring 138-98 humiliation of the Warriors on Monday night.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the fourth player in the shot- clock era to score 35 points in under 30 minutes.

"I was able to play more aggressive tonight," Griffin said.

Six other Clippers also scored in double figures, with Chris Paul logging 12 points, 10 assists and five steals in the rout. Paul is nursing a hamstring injury and was a limited participant in practice Tuesday.

"I'm good. As long as I'm out on the court I'm OK," he said.

Los Angeles forced 26 turnovers and held the usually high-scoring Warriors to 4-of-19 shooting from behind the arc in the widest margin of victory in the franchise's limited postseason history.

Stephen Curry led Golden State with 24 points, while Draymond Green, Jordan Crawford and David Lee checked in with 11 apiece.

"I was disappointed in our effort, that was a desperate basketball team and we didn't match it. They made plays, we played bad, we were awful," Warriors head coach Mark Jackson admitted.

But the Warriors did what they set out to do and that was steal a game in Los Angeles. With the decidedly lopsided home record against the Clippers, Golden State can put Monday's debacle out of mind.

"We played bad. We own it. We've got to be better," admitted Jackson. "We'll get in the lab. We'll make the adjustments, and we look forward to Thursday."

The Warriors need to tighten things up on the defensive side. The Clippers shot 56.6 percent from the field, 48 percent from 3-point range and their 138 points was a postseason team record. It was also the most the Warriors allowed in the playoffs since surrendering 140 to the Phoenix Suns on May 4, 1994.

Game 4 will be Sunday afternoon at Oracle Arena.


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