In order to take the lead in their seven-game series against the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers will have to overcome their recent woes at Oracle Arena and on the road in front of a raucous crowd known for turning up the decibels even more during the playoffs.
The two squads will tip-off Game Three on Thursday night in Oakland, with both hoping to break their 1-1 first-round tie with a victory. However L.A. is 0-5 on the road in the postseason the last two years, and it has lost 15 of their last 17 games in the deafening Oracle, including five straight.
Still L.A. climbed back into the driver seat and maintained their status as series favorites with a rousing 40-point blowout victory in Game Two, highlighted by forward Blake Griffin’s career playoff-high 35 points and six rebounds with the Clippers forcing 26 Warrior turnovers.
As a team the Clippers shot nearly 57 percent overall from the floor, and point guard Chris Paul returned to his better-suited role as distributor in Game Two by notching a game-high 10 assists to go along with his five steals and 12 points. In Game One Griffin fouled out after only logging 19 minutes on the floor, which moved Paul to the forefront as the team’s primary scorer with 28 points.
Golden State point guard Stephen Curry managed 24 points on 9-for-17 shooting along with eight assists, but received little help from the rest of the starters with only forward David Lee reaching double figures in Game Two with 11 points.
Curry’s backcourt mate Klay Thompson was held to four shot attempts and seven total points, while forward Draymond Green and guard Jordan Crawford came off the bench to score a combined 22 points.
Green wiped away most of his production by tying Paul for a game-high five turnovers while Lee and small forward Andre Igoudala accounted for four giveaways apiece.
With center Andrew Bogut out of the postseason indefinitely with a fractured rib, the Warriors will need more than the eight combined points they received from center Jermaine O’Neal and defensive-minded Igoudala in order to keep Griffin and Clippers center DeAndre Jordan in check.
The home crowd will certainly help the Warriors, who are 6-0 in front of their boisterous crowd in their last two playoff trips. To their credit the Clippers were 23-18 on the road during the regular season, the fourth best mark in the NBA behind only San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Golden State.
Time: Thursday, 10:30 p.m. EST
TV Channel: TNT
Live Online Stream Info: Watch live online at TNT Overtime
Betting Odds: Los Angeles -2
Over/Under: 190 points
Prediction: Clippers over Warriors 101-98