After the Los Angeles Clippers’ 100-73 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3, Clippers forward Blake Griffin said his team was determined to put its difficult performance in the past.
“You just have to get rid of that memory and forget about it,” Griffin said, according to The Los Angeles Times’ Ben Bolch. “Tonight’s game cannot dictate how we play in Game 4. We just have to forget about it and move on.”
On Sunday, his team backed up his words on the Spurs’ home court.
Griffin gashed San Antonio for 20 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists in Los Angeles’ 114-105 win while Chris Paul helped him out with 34 huge points and seven assists.
With the series now tied at two games apiece and heading back to Los Angeles for Game 5, the momentum of the series has shifted its course—from a comfortable position in the Spurs’ stall to a dockside view of the Clippers’ harbor.
Los Angeles looked like an entirely different team than the one that suffered the Game 3 blowout. The team was quick to rotate on defense and in attack mode on offense, two signs of urgency that were missing on Friday.
From the tip, you could tell the game was going to be different than the last. The Clippers took a 6-0 lead and maintained a slight lead for much of the first quarter. The frame ended in a 25-all tie.
During the second and third quarters, Los Angeles just kept on answering every San Antonio basket, it seemed, as the squad maintained its energy and execution to hold a slight lead throughout. Paul and Griffin were the two main leaders of the charge.
Below you see the type of hustle play the Clippers made all day that left the Spurs looking for answers.
But Paul and Griffin didn’t (and wouldn’t be able to) carry Los Angeles to the win by themselves, as good as they are.
One Clippers bench member shone in his limited minutes. No, not Jamal Crawford. It was the coach’s son, Austin Rivers.
Rivers scored 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting in just 17 minutes, exploiting matchups against smaller players such as Tony Parker and Patty Mills. Jamal Crawford did knock in 15 points in reserve, but the Clippers needed someone to help hm out. That was Rivers tonight.
In the fourth quarter, Paul helped Los Angeles drive the final nail in the coffin, with his 10 points and one assist in the final five minutes of the game.
For the Spurs, it was again Kawhi Leonard (26 points, seven rebounds and 5 assists) who contributed the most. His mid-range jumper was working well, albeit not quite as well as it was in Game 3.
Tim Duncan, Parker and Mills also provided some nice plays, but outside of the aforementioned four, San Antonio got very little. Starters Tiago Splitter and Danny Green combined for zero points on 0-of-11 shooting. The Spurs will need more than just Mills stepping up to the plate from their reserves to pull out a series win.
Game 5 will be played on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Look for another close game as both teams will come out energized and motivated to seize a 3-2 lead.