After weeks of vaunted talk and score predictions about the San Antonio Spurs killing the Los Angeles Clippers on their playoff series, the buzzer goes off with Clippers controlling the game pace and drawing first blood Sunday night at 107-92.
Bleacher Report released first game stats and score with Spurs completely overwhelmed by the second half. The game was predicted to be the best opening match of this season’s playoffs, but Spurs fell short in terms of score and overall performance.
Clippers’ double trouble tandem Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan were unstoppable, even against defending champion Spurs. In addition, Chris Paul’s breathtaking 32 points, seven rebounds, and six assists put Clippers on the offensive killing Kawhi Leonard who led the Spurs with 18 points, six rebounds, and three assists. LaTimes reported Clippers outshooting Spurs with a score of 51.3 percent to 36.6 percent from the field and 55.6 percent to 30.3 percent beyond the three-point line.
The Spurs still played very well and had several competitive points over Clippers, but SB Nation notes that Griffin’s tip top shape made it very difficult for Spurs to score a win. Griffin made a very assertive play from his dunks to smart passes that set up his three-point shots, finishing with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists.
Clippers’ biggest lead in the game was 20 points at 107-87, after Paul scored a three-pointer with 2 minutes and 40 seconds left. This killed Spurs right after they succeeded in bringing down the Clipper’s lead of 18 points to 9 points at 90-81 with Marco Belinelli’s three-pointer at 7 minutes 36 seconds left.
Postgame, J.A. Andade of ESPN said in a tweet that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich accepted their defeat.
@jadande: Pop didn’t like the questions, so he provided his own summary: “Their defense was better than our offense.”
Pop didn’t like the questions, so he provided his own summary: “Their defense was better than our offense.”
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) April 20, 2015
It was a smart play for Clippers, but coach Doc Rivers knows that after they score the first win, Spurs are surely upping their ante. Dan Woike of Orange Country Register said in a tweet that Clippers could still improve their defense.
DanWoikeSports: “We got away with stuff,” Doc said. Said there were plenty of mistakes on defense
“We got away with stuff,” Doc said. Said there were plenty of mistakes on defense
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) April 20, 2015
The Clippers are hungry for a good start and finish, since it has been three years that the team has never advanced after the second round. The Spurs have already bagged five NBA championships and they are not going to go easy on Clippers trying to score a second win.
Game 2 of the Spurs-Clippers playoffs will be on Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. at the Staples Center.
[Image via Stephen Dunn / Getty Images]