Los Angeles Clippers 126, Golden State Warriors 121: Clippers win series, 4-3
The Los Angeles Clippers overcame the Donald Sterling controversy and a tough Golden State Warriors team, and now they're headed to the second round.
Golden State came out on fire in an attempt to take Game 7 on the road, jumping out to a 32-22 lead by the end of the first quarter. Forward Draymond Green was the surprise high scorer for the Warriors, pouring in 10 points in the opening frame.
With their starters struggling, Los Angeles turned to sixth man Jamal Crawford, who led the team with 13 points in the second quarter, including a four-point play. Not to be outdone, Warriors point guard Steph Curry matched Crawford's four-pointer with one of his own, as the Warriors went into the locker room with an eight-point lead.
The Clippers came storming back in the beginning of the third quarter, taking their first lead of the game. Shooting guard J.J. Redick started to heat up, with 10 points in the period.
L.A. was able to maintain control in the fourth thanks to the frontcourt duo of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin.
Jordan was an absolute beast, blocking a Green layup and finishing lobs and put-backs over Warriors smaller front line. Meanwhile, Griffin bullied the Warriors for tough layups.
That was the series in a nutshell: The Warriors put up a heck of a fight, but with starting center Andrew Bogut out with an injury, they simply couldn't match the Clippers' size.
Blake Griffin, Clippers: 24 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST,
Chris Paul, Clippers: 22 PTS, 2 REB, 14 AST
DeAndre Jordan, Clippers: 15 PTS, 18 REB
Steph Curry, Warriors: 33 PTS, 9 AST
Klay Thompson, Warriors: 15 PTS, 7 AST
Draymond Green, Warriors: 24 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST
The Clippers will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder, with Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals set for Monday.
This is likely to be the best matchup of the second round. Both teams have star power, with Griffin, Paul, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and they were separated by just two games in the Western Conference. As far as the head-to-head matchup, it was dead even, with each team winning two.
Does it get any better than this?