You wouldn't like the Los Angeles Clippers when they're angry.
Following a surprising Game 1 defeat at home, the Clips went all "Hulk" in Game 2, routing the Golden State Warriors, 138-98, in a comprehensive, wire-to-wire effort to even the best-of-seven series.
The transcendent performance helped the Clippers to a couple of new records, as ESPN Stats & Info noted:
Clippers set team record for points in playoff game, 40-point win is their largest margin of victory in playoff game— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 22, 2014
Griffin led an otherwise balanced scoring effort with a playoff career high 35 points in three quarters of play, Chris Paul filled up the box score with 12 points, six rebounds, 10 assists and five steals and the Clippers stifled the normally explosive Warriors offense.
Haralobos Voulgaris summed up the performance of the high-flying big man, who was unstoppable on Monday night:
Its a joke how good Blake Griffin is.— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) April 22, 2014
Stephen Curry was held to 24 points on 1-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc, while the Warriors turned the ball over an astounding 26 times and shot a meager 21.1 percent from distance, stumbling to their lowest point total since April 2.
Head coach Mark Jackson, via ESPN's Arash Markazi probably summed it up best:
Mark Jackson: "We got drilled. We got thoroughly outplayed."— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 22, 2014
This one was never in question.
Los Angeles jumped out to a 15-4 lead in the first five minutes, led by 11 after the first quarter and had extended the advantage to a whopping 26 points by halftime.
As ESPN Stats & Info noted, it was a historically-bad performance for the Warriors:
The Warriors 26-point deficit is their largest playoff halftime deficit since the team changed name to Golden State in 1971-72.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 22, 2014
Griffin had 21 points on a silly efficient nine field-goal attempts and the Clippers near 60-percent shooting had them on pace for 134 points, but the defense on the sharp-shooting Warriors might have been the most impressive part of the first 24 minutes.
Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy summed up the absurdity of the half:
At halftime, Stephen Curry has less points than Hedo Turkoglu, Danny Granger and Marreese Speights. Did I really just type that sentence?— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) April 22, 2014
Curry entered takeover mode in the third quarter, scoring 20 of the team's 32 points—and it hardly could have mattered less. The Warriors may have started scoring, but the Clippers continued to click on all cylinders offensively, shooting a scorching 67 percent in the period to extend the lead even further.
Dan Woike of the Orange Country Register put it simply:
Steph Curry scored 20 points in the 3rd quarter and the Clippers increased their lead by six.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) April 22, 2014
The second units checked in for the fourth quarter, with a Marreese Speights-Glen Davis spat serving as the only excitement, as the Clippers ran their advantage up to 40.
In the grand scheme of things, the Warriors' goal was to return back to the Bay Area with the series tied, and they accomplished just that. So, if they can shake off this embarrassing beat-down and bounce back to turn Thursday's Game 3 into a war, they are still in very good shape.
Mark Jackson: "Now we go in front of the best fans in the business."— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 22, 2014
On the flip side, though, that Game 1 loss clearly woke the Clippers up, and if either team resembles Monday night's form going forward, this series won't last long.