GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (52-31)
at LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (57-26)
NBA Playoffs - Western Conference First Round
Game 2 - Golden State leads series 1-0
Tip-off: Monday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: Los Angeles -8, Total: 212
The Warriors look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead on Monday night when they visit the heavily-favored Clippers.
Golden State finished off the regular season with SU wins in five of their last seven games, going 6-1 ATS in that span, but Los Angeles was also one of the hottest teams going into the postseason, winning seven of their last 10 games (SU and ATS). On Saturday, the Warriors were pitted as 7.5-point underdogs to open the playoffs when they stunned the host Clippers by a 109-105 score. Golden State PF David Lee grabbed a team-leading 13 rebounds to help his team gain a +6 rebounding advantage (48-42). The game was a heated battle throughout and was tied going into the second half before L.A. was outscored 35-27 in the third quarter. On the road this season, the Warriors are 25-17 SU (24-18 ATS), while Saturday's loss dropped the Clippers to a still impressive 34-8 SU (21-21 ATS) when playing at home. The home team had won each of the four games in the regular season series, while L.A. now holds a 3-2 ATS edge over the five contests. But over the past three seasons, Golden State has an 8-5 advantage (SU and ATS) with nine of the 13 games going Over the total. Bettors should be aware that the Warriors have gone 15-2 ATS after two straight games where both teams scored 100+ points over the past two seasons, but the Clippers are 18-7 ATS (72%) when coming off an SU loss this season, including 12-2 ATS (86%) when coming off an upset loss as a favorite. The only significant injury that could affect this game will be that of Golden State C Andrew Bogut (ribs), as he is unlikely to return for the playoffs.
The Warriors put up 104.3 PPG (10th in the league) during the regular season while making 38% of their three-pointers (4th in NBA). On the defensive side of things, they have allowed their opponents to score 99.5 PPG (10th in league), but have surrendered 110.2 PPG (46% FG) over the past five games. However, the offense has dropped 116.8 PPG on 48% FG during this five-game stretch. PG Stephen Curry (24.0 PPG, 8.5 APG, 1.6 SPG) led the league with 261 threes made but scored just 14 points (6-of-16 FG, 2-of-6 threes) with seven turnovers in Game 1. He did pitch in seven assists and three steals though. That was his first playoff meeting with L.A., but in 19 career regular-season games against the Clippers, Curry has scored 19.1 PPG (48% FG) to go along with 6.4 APG while hitting an incredible 50% three-pointers (58-of-116). PF David Lee (18.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG) put forth a big effort on Saturday with 20 points, 13 rebounds, but was also careless with six turnovers. Lee netted 21.8 PPG (59% FG) with 9.0 RPG in his four games against the Clippers in the regular season, and has averaged a near double-double (16.0 PPG, 9.7 RPG) over 24 career regular-season games (19 starts) against them as well. SG Klay Thompson (18.4 PPG, 42% threes) was the star of Game 1, scoring 22 points while hitting 4-of-7 threes, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out five assists. He didnít do quite as well over the four games against Los Angeles this season though, putting up 18.8 PPG (47% FG) and shooting 43% from behind the arc. The team's other two starters, C Jermaine O'Neal (7.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG) and SF Andre Iguodala (9.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.2 APG) combined for 21 points on 9-of-15 FG, but both players recorded a minus-11 rating.
The Clippers exemplified what a Western Conference offense should look like, as they led the league in the regular season with 107.9 PPG and making 47.4% of their field goals (3rd in the league). Their defense was quite solid also, allowing 101.0 PPG (14th in the league) on the season on a meager 44.1% FG (5th in league) and an NBA-best 33.2% threes. PG Chris Paul (19.1 PPG, 10.7 APG, 2.5 SPG) was outstanding in Game 1 with 28 points (5-of-9 threes), eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals, but he also committed six turnovers and picked up five fouls in the loss. He was very strong in four games against the Warriors during the regular season too, with 28.0 PPG (47% FG), 12.7 APG and 3.7 SPG. PF Blake Griffin (24.1 PPG, 9.5 RPG) fouled out after just 19 minutes on Saturday, but still scored 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting with three rebounds, three assists and a +9 rating. With 22.5 PPG (53% FG) and 10.4 RPG over 16 regular-season career games against Golden State, a better game should be expected in the second contest. C DeAndre Jordan (10.4 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 2.5 BPG) had 11 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks on Saturday, but he also committed seven turnovers and made just 3-of-8 free throws. Jordan will be important going forward as the only true center on the team. He played in four games against the Warriors in the regular season, dropping 10.3 PPG (64% FG) to go along with 15.3 RPG and 3.5 BPG. SG J.J. Redick (15.2 PPG) stepped it up in Game 1 with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting (4-of-5 threes), and his range will play a big role in the rest of the series. The Clippers need a whole lot more from their bench though, as the reserves combined for just 26 points on 8-of-30 shooting (27%) and 1-of-7 threes, posting a combined minus-38 rating.