The Clippers’ three-game winning streak came to an end on Wednesday night in San Francisco after falling 124-107 to the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Keep reading for a full recap of the game.
Three offensive possessions. Three turnovers. That’s how the game started for the LA Clippers on Wednesday, which ultimately set the tone for what kind of first half would unfold on a night in which LA lacked Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Luke Kennard — mostly all of its offensive firepower.
The Clippers got behind the 8-ball early but remained somewhat within striking distance for a while thanks to shotmaking from Norman Powell and Reggie Jackson. But as Golden State implemented a zone defense during the second quarter, poor jump-shooting and a lack of dribble penetration sunk the Clippers in the halfcourt, thus leading to a bevy of Warriors fast-breaks that LA had a world of difficulty stopping. The aftermath was an 18-4 run to close the second frame, giving the defending champions on top 66-47 at the break.
Things got “interesting” in the third quarter but never enough to believe a Clippers comeback to be realistic — partly due to the large deficit and partly because of the personnel. Nevertheless, Marcus Morris Sr. and Terance Mann provided a spark that allowed us all to leave the television on a bit longer. But it was only a matter of time before the door completely shut. Highlighted by a couple of Stephen Curry 3-pointers, the Warriors closed the third on an 11-4 over the final three minutes of the quarter, which sent them into the fourth up 16.
Quarter No. 4 was predominantly garbage time as the Clippers eventually got down by as many as 29 points before the final horn sounded and the scoreboard read 124-107.
In what’s become a running theme as of late, Terance Mann was fantastic. His energy from the opening tip was evident by the way he chased Curry around on defense, and so was his confidence, which appeared almost immediately as he went off script early in the game to fire up (and make) an off-the-dribble 3-pointer. The usual Terance Mann types of things also appeared throughout the game, including timely cuts, strong and athletic finishes at the rim, and offensive rebounding.
He finished with 17 points, five rebounds and a steal on 7/11 shooting and 3/3 from beyond the arc.
In my game preview, I wrote about the Warriors’ bench being bad and the Clippers’ starting to round into form. On Wednesday night, that surely was not the case. You can place the blame on John Wall’s lack of offensive impact, Nicolas Batum’s invisibility, or Robert Covington’s rust. However you allocate it, none of them were particularly good, and the second unit is responsible for this game getting out of hand in the way that it did.
What you don’t want to do against the Golden State Warriors is turn the basketball over. The live-ball ones get Draymond Green going in transition, which oftentimes leads to a ton of easy looks for the Splash Bros. Exactly that happened early and often last night at Chase Center. The Clippers’ 16 turnovers not only came at unideal times when the game seemed to be within reach, but they led to 21 points going the other way. Giving up possessions and surrendering easy points while already being at a talent disadvantage is not good process.