Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Mitch Chortkoff
Sports Editor 

Warriors End Clippers' Seven-Game Winning Streak

 

March 30, 2015



So many times during the Lakers’ feat of winning 16 NBA championships I’ve been in the building, feeling the excitement, eager to do my work and being thankful I’m in the sportswriting profession.

On Tuesday night those years came back to me as I watched the Golden State Warriors, who have the best record in this NBA season, outlast the Clippers, 110-106 before a raucous sellout crowd in Staples Center.

The playoffs haven’t started yet but you wouldn’t know it judging by the energy in the building.

The Clippers came out strong and built a 30-17 lead, but their reserves were outplayed by the Warriors’ reserves and the lead went away.

There’s a reason why the Warriors have been dominant this season. Besides having quality starters they have an outstanding bench.

But Clipper fans shouldn’t give up hope.

The Clippers were coming off a seven-game winning streak. They’d gone 3-0 on a road trip and led by 30 points in each game. They’d done that without Jamal Crawford, their primary scorer on the second unit and Nate Robinson, another fine scorer who’s also injured.

Crawford is coming along well and is due back soon.

By on this night even 40 points by Blake Griffin weren’t enough.

Afterward, Griffin complained about the Warriors having so many fans in the crowd, just as Chicago and Miami had in Staples Center games this season.

“We just don’t have a home court advantage here,” said Griffin.

Personally, I think he’s overdoing the point. Yes, the Warriors had a lot of vocal fans but the Clippers had many thousands cheering for them.

And there is nothing personal. It’s a short distance from Northern California to Southern California. Loyal Warrior fans make the trip.

When the Cubs play the Dodgers there’s a large group of Chicago fans in Dodger Stsdium. Hey, our weather has drawn former Chicago residents to Los Angeles

The Clippers are currently fifth in the Western Conference playoff race. They have their eye on second place because No. 2 Memphis has been in a recent slump.

The Clippers had to go to Portland on Wednesday night for another tough game but they hope to sweep two games from the Lakers this Sunday and next Tuesday.

Coach Doc Rivers, who won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics and lost another Finals to the Lakers before joining the Clippers, knows what the playoffs are all about.

“You don’t often get to score on the first option of your play, so in the last few weeks we’ve been working on our second and third options.” He said.

Warrior guard Stephen Curry, one of the favorites to be the NBA MVP this season, praised the Clippers’ fast start.

“They came out with a lot of energy,” he said.

But, as Rivers observed, ‘we lost our way offensively after that.”

The Warriors have clinched the best record in the NBA and the Clippers have clinched a playoff berth.

Will they meet again this season? That remains to be seen.

Bosmat Eynav contributed to this article

 

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