Running buddies. (Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)
As you might have expected, given the matchup, offense was a much bigger story than defense in the first half of Thursday's West Coast contest between the Los Angeles Clippers (the NBA's No. 4 offense a year ago, fueled by the Chris Paul-Blake Griffin tandem) and the Golden State Warriors (No. 10, sparked by the white-hot shooting of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson). The pair of point-scoring powerhouses combined for 123 points in 24 minutes, shooting a combined 49.4 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent from 3-point range, giving viewers at home nearly as much offense in a half as the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks managed in four full quarters in the early game of TNT's first doubleheader of the 2013-14 NBA season.
Midway through the third quarter, though, the Clippers' attention turned to defense as the Warriors' attention turned to, I don't know, tilt-a-whirls, or perhaps the exact nature of the limitless energy directed through the Quantum Bands worn by the Marvel superhero Quasar. (Whatever it was on, it wasn't crisp offensive basketball, is the point.) That combination of attention and inattention allowed the Clippers to get out in transition and, as you might have heard, they can be pretty good at that — as they showed on three consecutive monstrous Paul-to-Griffin hookups:
There are a lot of ways to score six points in an NBA game; this one, I think it's fair to say, ranks among the most stylish. (Go back and watch where Blake took off on No. 2. And then go back and watch it again. And watch it one more time, since, apparently, these things come in threes.)
This sequence, which spanned all of 32 seconds of game time, didn't put the Warriors away or anything — far from it, considering the Warriors have a couple of guys who can score six points pretty stylishly themselves — but it did remind us that, whether Griffin or anyone else wants us to bury the moniker in a pine box 6 feet deep, this iteration of the Clippers will always be located somewhere within the greater Lob City metropolitan area.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Golden State Warriors
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Klay Thompson