Clippers-Warriors Game 3 Preview: It's the Blake Show
We preview Game 3 of the series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors. It's heading back to The Bay tied 1-1.
Previewing Game 2 of the Clippers-Warriors first-round series.
1. Where We Are: After a horribly officiated Game 1 that left us without any flow to the game and no clue about what actually could have or should have happened between these two teams, the Los Angeles Clippers came out in Game 2 and blew the Golden State Warriors out of the building. Blake Griffin avoided foul trouble altogether and proved to be a problem the Warriors didn't have an answer for no matter what combination of lineups they threw his way.
Griffin set a career-high for points in a playoff game with 35 and the Clippers routed the Warriors for a 138-98 victory. Now the series is tied at 1-1 and the Warriors have to figure out if the split they earned in Los Angeles still gives them momentum after being destroyed so badly the next game. The Clippers showed all of their weaponry in Game 2 and the Warriors without Andrew Bogut seemed ill-equipped to deal with those options.
2. The Big Number: 26. The Warriors' turnovers in Game 2 were just devastating to trying to get any consistent attack against the Clippers. The Clippers turned those 26 turnovers into 27 points, as opposed to the eight points the Warriors scored off of 13 Clippers' turnovers. There were a lot of advantages in Game 2 for the Clippers, like the eight extra 3-pointers they made than Golden State or the 10 extra free throws they made in the game. However, the turnovers are where it all started. Too many lazy passes and soft dribbles into traps and double teams took the Warriors out of the game before they even knew what hit them.
3. Key Adjustment: The Warriors have to start getting some separation for Stephen Curry on the perimeter. Without Bogut on the floor, the Warriors don't have great screen-setters to get Curry loose for some outside shooting. Curry has been still attacking around weaker screens and getting to the basket, but his real impact comes from setting fire to the 3-point line. The Warriors have to stagger more screens or find ways to use Draymond Green, the best screener they have at this point, with Curry more in a two-man game. If they can give him room to torch the Clippers on the perimeter, Curry is very capable of winning a game by himself.
4. The Big Story: Was the split something that still gives the Warriors momentum and can the home crowd propel Golden State to taking another game? The 40-point blowout took the wind out of the sails of the Warriors' ship, but they still walked away from two games in Los Angeles without a series deficit. The crowd in Oracle Arena will be insane, but will it affect the Clippers in a negative way or boost the Warriors to new heights? This Clippers' team has dealt with tough environments in prior series over the past few years against the Memphis Grizzlies. Is this Bay Area environment that much harder to deal with in Game 3?
5. The Facts: 10:30 p.m. ET. Andrew Bogut is out with a fractured rib. The Clippers don't have any significant injuries.
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