This has been one series that’s been unpredictable from the start. The controversial audio from Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is no longer a factor. Coming into game six, the Clippers believed they had their emotions under control and would close out the Warriors to move onto the next round in the playoffs.
Unfortunately, Golden State forced a game seven after defeating LA 100-99 to tie the series. Stephen Curry finished with 24 points to avoid elimination and the Warriors will head back to the Staples Center. And this time it will only be about basketball leaving the drama behind.
“We are going to a game 7 despite all the sideline music, and I like my chances because I’ve got a group of guys that want to do whatever it takes to win,” said head coach Mark Jackson.
The Clippers got off to a great start dominating the boards early but Draymond Green defending Blake Griffin made all the difference in the game. Griffin who normally has his way with the Warriors missed 15 of his first 20 shots and looked frustrated by Green’s defense.
“It’s all or nothing,” Green said. “It’s our season on the line. It’s a lot of things on the line. We’re going to go battle for each other. We’re going to battle for coach.”
After Green was forced to the bench with five fouls early in the fourth and David Lee fouling out, Griffin took over the game making a reverse layup and hitting a pair of jumpers. But Green returned and forced Griffin to miss a field-goal attempt before he fouled out of the game with almost two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
A brilliant move by Curry who was fouled with 0.4 seconds left. LA struggled hitting shots from outside after multiple attempts until Matt Barnes banked in a shot with 1.1 seconds left on the clock. Curry made his first free throw but missed the second deliberately to run the clock out before the Clippers had a chance to shoot for the game winner.
“It was one of the hustle games,” said head coach Doc Rivers. “Give them credit. I thought they came up with just enough plays to beat us.”