Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors: Postgame Grades and Analysis

Matthew SchmidtFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2014

Blake Griffin scored 32 points, DeAndre Jordan added 14 points and 22 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers held off the Golden State Warriors, 98-96, at Oracle Arena Thursday night, taking a 2-1 lead in their first-round Western Conference playoff series.

Stephen Curry missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have won the Warriors the game, and there may have been some contact given by Chris Paul on the shot.

As you might imagine, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers took Paul's side.

The Clippers led by as much as 18 in the third quarter only to see Golden State storm back and trim the lead to one late in the fourth.

Curry, who was a non-factor in terms of scoring for most of the night, buried all three of his three-pointers over the final 12 minutes, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.

However, the Dubs had dug themselves too big of a hole, and they were unable to climb out of it. Shooting 6-of-31 from downtown will do that to you.

The Clippers shot 46.5 percent from the floor overall, surviving 13 missed free throws in the win. They held Golden State to a 41.6 percent overall clip.

Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 26 points.

Game 4 is Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.


Key Player Grades: Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Paul, Point Guard

This was hardly a dominant outing for Chris Paul, but it was good enough.

The superstar floor general posted 15 points and 10 assists, but he shot only 5-of-13 from the floor and went 2-of-7 from three-point range on a gimpy hamstring.

Where he excelled was the fourth quarter, though, as Paul scored eight points in crunch time. However, he did miss a big free throw late which gave the Warriors an opportunity to win the game, but the Clippers ultimately prevailed.

Paul also deserves credit for his defense on Curry, as he blanketed his counterpart all night.

Grade: B


Blake Griffin, Power Forward

Blake Griffin was nothing short of extraordinary in Game 3.

He scored 32 points off 15-of-25 shooting, reeling off 13 straight Los Angeles points during a stretch that spanned between the second and third quarters.

Griffin scored in a variety of ways. He posted up, he hit mid-range jumpers, he banked in shots from the corners and he finished at the rim.

The only blemish was his putrid shooting at the free-throw line, as Griffin went only 2-of-9 from the charity stripe.

Still, Blake did more than enough where he deserves a pass for the missed foul shots.

To go along with his scoring output, Griffin grabbed eight rebounds.

Grade: A


DeAndre Jordan, Center

DeAndre Jordan was absolutely incredible Thursday night—so incredible that he may have been the most impactful player on the floor.

The big man recorded 14 points, 22 rebounds and five blocks, decimating the Warriors inside. Seven of his boards came on the offensive glass, and he was sensational as a rim protector, altering countless shots among the ones he actually swatted.

Jordan completely changed the game whenever he was on the court, cutting off driving lanes and making it nearly impossible for Golden State to get off any shots at the rim off offensive rebounds.

Jordan keeps getting better and better. It's scary.

Grade: A+


J.J. Redick, Shooting Guard

J.J. Redick had an efficient shooting night, going 5-of-11 from the floor and knocking down three of his six attempts from distance.

He ended up scoring 14 points and hit a couple of backbreaking triples. Plus, Redick did a solid job of distributing the rock, compiling five assists.

Perhaps the best part of Redick's night? He led the Clippers with a plus-six plus-minus.

Grade: B


Matt Barnes, Small Forward

Matt Barnes went scoreless in this game, and a toe injury forced him to sit out a good portion of the second half.

It's not like the Clippers really needed him though.

Barnes missed all six of his shot attempts, going 0-of-3 from downtown. He did collect four steals, though, so he was able to have some sort of an effect defensively by getting after loose balls.

Grade: D-


Jamal Crawford, Sixth Man

Jamal Crawford did what he does best in Game 3.

Crawford hit several huge shots in the third period to keep the Warriors at bay, totaling seven of his 13 points during those 12 minutes.

Like Redick, he went 5-of-11 from the floor and made good on three of his six long-range tries.

Thirteen points in 20 minutes?

Now that's efficient.

Grade: B+



Outside of Crawford, the Clippers reserves did not exactly contribute all that much.

Darren Collison had six points, and Glen Davis had four, with Collison going 3-of-7 from the floor and Davis hitting both of his shot attempts. In fairness, though, Collison did a solid job on Curry when given the opportunity.

Danny Granger saw 12 minutes, and while he grabbed four rebounds, he committed three fouls.

Not the greatest of efforts from L.A.'s pine but certainly not the worst either.

Grade: C


Key Player Grades: Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry, Point Guard

Stephen Curry was reduced to the role of distributor for much of Thursday night, and while doling out assists is a good thing, Golden State expects Curry to score.

Curry was not able to do that for most of this one, with the Clippers defense blitzing him up top and sticking to him like glue around screens. 

However, Steph was able to get going in the fourth quarter, draining all three of his three-pointers over the final 12 minutes.

Steph scored 16 points off 5-of-12 shooting, going 3-of-8 from three-point range. 

Where he was most effective, however, was in setting up his teammates.

Curry got the ball out of his hands quickly whenever the defense closed in, doing it to the tune of 15 dimes.

He could have had more too if the Warriors were actually hitting their shots.

It's difficult to give Curry a grade given L.A.'s clear focus on trying to take him out of the game as a scorer, but he deserves at least a good mark for adapting to the circumstances.

Grade: B+


Klay Thompson, Shooting Guard

Klay Thompson had a strange night.

He went 10-of-22 from the floor for 26 points, but the sharpshooter connected on only two of his 11 three-point tries.

It's funny because when you see Thompson with 26, you automatically assume he was going off from distance, but that wasn't the case Thursday night.

Klay missed a ton of open looks from beyond the arc, but he made up for it by taking advantage of smaller defenders in the post. He scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and also hauled in six rebounds. Oh, and how about him recording a plus-six plus-minus?

Thompson also did a very solid job on Paul.

Strong effort by the 2-guard that unfortunately came in a loss.

Grade: A-


David Lee, Power Forward

This wasn't a spectacular night for David Lee.

Yes, his stat sheet looked alright. Twelve points, nine rebounds and four assists. Solid, right?

Well, not if you actually watched him play in this one.

Lee went only 6-of-15 from the floor, missing numerous easy shots around the rim. He was also beaten to the punch on the glass by Jordan far too frequently in his 32 minutes, with only one of his rebounds coming on the defensive end. Yes—the defensive end, meaning plenty of second-chance opportunities for L.A.

Grade: C+


Andre Iguodala, Small Forward

Andre Iguodala made some big plays to get the Warriors back into the game in the second half, the highlight being an awesome alley-oop throwdown off a perfect pass from Curry from near half court. 

Iguodala finished with 11 points and nine rebounds, going 4-of-9 from the floor. However, he hurt Golden State at the free-throw line, making only three of his seven attempts at the charity stripe.

Decent night for Iggy, although he could have been better.

Grade: B-


Jermaine O'Neal, Center

Jermaine O'Neal got off to a very good start in this game, going for six points and five rebounds in the first quarter alone. By halftime, he would have 10 points and six boards. However, as the game progressed, O'Neal was phased out, as the Warriors went to a small-ball lineup.

O'Neal played well in his 16 minutes, finishing with 10 points and seven rebounds. He shot 3-of-5 from the floor and made all four of his free-throw attempts.

There was a period during the third where he got burnt by Griffin, but that was more Blake making incredible shots than anything else.

Grade: B


Harrison Barnes, Sixth Man

About this time last year, Harrison Barnes was enjoying what looked like his coming-out party in the postseason.

Oh, how much of a difference a year can make.

Barnes has appeared to have lost any trace of his confidence, looking tentative whenever the ball reaches his hands. He scored only four points off 2-of-8 shooting, missing badly on four good looks from long distance.

Barnes also pulled down three boards in 20 minutes.

Grade: D-



Draymond Green was simply tremendous in this one.

His energy was contagious, and he was one of the main reasons why the Warriors ended up having a shot to win the game late.

Green recorded 13 points and 11 rebounds in 33 minutes, completely usurping Barnes' role as Golden State's primary reserve. Not only that, but Green added four blocks and three steals. He did get called for a flagrant foul on Griffin, but that actually seemed to spark his ballclub.

Other than Green, contributions from the Dubs' bench were slim.

Marreese Speights and Jordan Crawford both had two points apiece.

Thanks to Green, though, the Warriors' pine earns high marks.

Grade: A-


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