2014 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference Quarterfinals Game #3
#3 Los Angeles Clippers at #6 Golden State Warriors
Best of Seven Series Tied 1-1
Oracle Arena – Oakland, California
Thursday, April 24, 2014, 10:35 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Los Angeles -2
Current Line: Los Angeles -3
Opening Total: 214
Current Total: 212
Opening Money Line: Clippers -125 / Warriors +105
Opening Money Line: Clippers -160 / Warriors +135
What a difference a game made for Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers. In game one of the Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Golden State Warriors, Griffin was in foul trouble for most of the game and only played 19 minutes before fouling out in the fourth quarter. He scored only 16 points in the Clippers’ 109-105 loss that gave home court in the series to Golden State.
However, in game two Monday night in Los Angeles Griffin was not called for a foul and scored 35 points in a 138-98 rout for the Clippers that evened the series at 1-1. Los Angeles opened the game on a 14-4 run and would never look back in the 40 point destruction. The Clippers forced 26 turnovers.
Now the series shifts to Oakland for game three Thursday night and game four Sunday. The Oracle Arena in Oakland has been a house of horrors for the Clippers recently, as LA has lost 15 of their last 17 games at Oracle, including five straight. Those games were in front of a normal regular season Warriors’ crowd, and the intensity is much higher during the playoffs.
Los Angeles is coached by Doc Rivers. The Clippers went 7-3 to close out the regular season. The Clippers are 47-36-1 ATS this season and the total is 46-37-1 this season.
LA is outscoring teams 108-101. The Clippers lead the league in scoring and are #14 in points allowed. Los Angeles is shooting 47.4% from the field and 35.2% from 3 point range. The Clippers are #3 in field goal percentage and #22 in three point shooting. LA is #26 in free throw shooting at 73% from the field. Opponents are shooting 44.1% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. The Clippers lead the league in 3 point defense and are #5 in opponents’ field goal percentage. Los Angeles averages 43 rebounds per game and opponents average 43.7 per game. LA is #25 in rebounds allowed. The Clippers average 24.6 assists, 13.9 turnovers, 8.6 steals and 4.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 23.3 assists, 15.4 turnovers, 7 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
Griffin averages 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Point guard Chris Paul averages 19.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 10.7 assists, and 2.5 steals per game. Paul leads the league in assists and steals. He is nursing a sore hamstring, but is listed as probable. Guard Jamal Crawford averages 18.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He missed 5 games with an Achilles’ injury down the stretch but will play in this series. Redick averages 15.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Guard Darren Collison averages 11.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Center DeAndre Jordan averages 10.4 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. Jordan leads the league in rebounding and is third in blocks per game. Forward Matt Barnes averages 9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Danny Granger, Jared Dudley, and Willie Green will also get significant minutes. Granger has played in both games against the Warriors, his first action since injuring his hamstring March 27.
Golden State is coached by Mark Jackson. The Warriors won 3 of their last 4 games to close out the regular season, including two straight. The Warriors are 42-39-3 ATS this season and the total is 35-47-2 this season.
Golden State is outscoring teams 104-100 this season. The Warriors are #10 in scoring and #10 in points allowed. Golden State is shooting 46.2% from the field and 38% from 3 point range. The Warriors are #9 in field goal percentage and #4 in three point shooting. Golden State makes 75.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 43.6% from the field and 34.4% from 3 point range. The Warriors are #4 in field goal defense and #3 in three point defense. Golden State averages 45.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 43.3 per game. The Warriors are #5 in rebounding and #20 in rebounds allowed. Golden State averages 23.2 assists, 15.2 turnovers, 7.7 steals and 5.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 20.2 assists, 14.9 turnovers, 8 steals and 4.2 blocks per game.
Guard Stephen Curry averages 24 points, 8.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Guard Klay Thompson averages 18.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Forward David Lee averages 18.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. Lee played in the last 3 games of the season after missing the previous 7 games with a hamstring injury. Forward Harrison Barnes averages 9.5 points, 4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Forward Andre Iguodala averages 9.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Jermaine O’Neal, Jordan Crawford, Andrew Bogut, Marresse Speights and Draymond Green will also get some minutes. Bogut leads the team in rebounds at 10 per game and blocks at 1.8 per game. Bogut is out for this series with a rib injury. O’Neal will replace him in the starting line-up. Center Festus Ezeli is out indefinitely with a knee injury and has missed the entire season. Guard Nemanja Nedovic is out indefinitely with a calf injury.
Los Angeles is 5-1 ATS against Pacific Division teams, 4-1 in road games and against teams with winning home records, 5-2 on two days rest, 15-7-1 against Western Conference teams, 1-4 against teams with winning records, and 1-6 in first round playoff games. The over is 9-2 in this series recently, including 4-1 in Oakland.
Golden State is 4-0 ATS after failing to cover, 11-1 in first round playoff games, 8-1-1 on two days rest, 12-2-2 after a straight up loss of 10 points or more, 5-1 when the opponent scores 100 points or more in the previous game, overall and against Western Conference teams, 4-1 after allowing 100 points or more in the previous game, 22-8-1 after allowing 125 or more points, 5-2 against teams with winning records, 5-2-1 against teams with winning road records, and 33-16-2 after a straight up loss. The home team is 7-2 ATS in this series recently. The Warriors are 4-1 ATS in the last five in Oakland against the Clippers.
Without Bogut, Golden State is depending on the 35 year Jermaine O’Neal to protect the rim. O’Neal is an old 35 too as he came into the league right out of high school. This all comes down to how the game is called. If the refs call it tight like they did in game one then Griffin could struggle with fouls again. If they let Griffin play, then he will dominate again like in game two. I think this series will go the full seven, but LA wins tonight in front of a wild road crowd.