NBA Basketball

Clippers look to even series with Warriors on home court

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

As the Los Angeles Clippers and visiting Golden State Warriors prepare for Game 4 in their Western Conference first-round playoff series on Sunday, neither team is putting much stock in what's happened so far.

The Warriors own a 2-1 series lead after their 132-105 win on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

For the second straight game, the Clippers fell behind by 31 points in the third quarter, only the Warriors closed out the Game 3 win. They let the Clippers get back into Game 2 on Monday in Oakland, however, and eventually lost 135-131 as the Clippers posted the largest comeback win in NBA postseason history.

"Lot of work to do," Golden State guard Steph Curry said after the win on Thursday. "We hope the (Game 2 troubles) are behind us in terms of having a 16-minute stretch like that, where we literally forget how to play basketball. We got a lot of work to do. We're not getting ahead of ourselves at all."

Clippers coach Doc Rivers has the task of motivating his players after they seemed to hit a wall in Game 3. His first piece of advice following the loss was to keep fighting back.

"You got to keep punching," he said. "You're going to get hit. We got hit (Thursday) night. We didn't throw any punches back, but that's what you have to do. We win Sunday, it's a tied series. Again, it's a series. Thank God this is not college."

Golden State lost starting center DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending torn quad muscle early in Game 2, which would seem to give the Clippers a big advantage in the middle with 7-1 center Ivica Zubac.

Rivers didn't like what he saw in the first half of Game 3, however, and replaced Zubac with 6-9 stretch forward JaMychal Green to start the second half. The change seemed to stretch out the floor and generate more open shots, but Los Angeles was unable to convert most of them.

Rivers likely won't start Green in Game 4.

"That's something we'll consider, but I doubt we'll do it," he said.

Curry said the Warriors will be ready for any type of lineup they'll face on Sunday, and their experience should play a key role.

Since the Warriors lost to the Clippers in the first round of the 2014 playoffs, Golden State has won 15 of the past 16 playoff series.

"The way you win a championship, the way you win a series, or whatnot, is being able to do that consistently, put back-to-back games together," Curry said. "That's the challenge ahead of us for Sunday."

Being on the road shouldn't make things more challenging for the Warriors either, Curry said.

Golden State has won four straight playoff games on the road, dating back to the Western Conference Finals last season against the Houston Rockets.

"You take control of a series by winning games on the road," Curry said. "We've been able to do that. We've got another opportunity on Sunday. Hopefully, that trend continues as we chase another championship."

Rivers said a key for the Clippers is getting stretch forward Danilo Gallinari going offensively. Gallinari averaged 19.8 points in the regular season and scored 24 in Game 2, but he was held to nine points on 2-for-13 shooting in Game 3.

"We've got to get him even better shots. We've got to give him more shots," Rivers said. "If Gal doesn't score, we're going to struggle. We need his scoring."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 21, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NC State   Sat 12:00pm
Boston College  
Duke   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia Tech  
Carolina   10:00pm
Teams Score Time
Pittsburgh 24 11:12 3rd
Syracuse 13
Ohio State 7 00:40 1st
Northwestern 3
Auburn   Sat 12:00pm
Clemson   Sat 12:00pm
Florida   Sat 12:00pm
South Carolina  
Georgia Tech   Sat 12:00pm
NC State   Sat 12:00pm
Boston College  
Purdue   Sat 12:00pm
West Virginia   Sat 12:00pm
Wisconsin   Sat 12:00pm
Duke   Sat 3:30pm
LSU   Sat 3:30pm
Mississippi State  
Minnesota   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia Tech  
Oregon   Sat 3:30pm
Temple   Sat 3:30pm
Tulsa   Sat 3:30pm
UL Monroe   Sat 3:30pm
Appalachian State  
Baylor   Sat 4:00pm
Oklahoma State  
Missouri   Sat 4:00pm
Arizona State   Sat 6:00pm
Kentucky   Sat 6:00pm
Kansas   Sat 7:00pm
Florida State   Sat 7:30pm
Wake Forest  
Michigan   Sat 7:30pm
Penn State  
Tennessee   Sat 9:00pm
Boise State   Sat 10:15pm
Teams Score Time
American League
Houston 1 6th
New York 4
Teams Score Time
Washington 108 02:30 4th
Philadelphia 87
Toronto 101 00:00 3rd
Brooklyn 84
Houston 73 00:00 Half
Miami 70
New Orleans 62 00:00 Half
New York 57
Memphis 26 08:48 2nd
San Antonio 37
Los Angeles   10:30pm
Golden State  
Teams Score Time
Arizona   Sun 1:00pm
New York  
Houston   Sun 1:00pm
Jacksonville   Sun 1:00pm
Los Angeles   Sun 1:00pm
Miami   Sun 1:00pm
Minnesota   Sun 1:00pm
Oakland   Sun 1:00pm
Green Bay  
San Francisco   Sun 1:00pm
Los Angeles   Sun 4:05pm
Baltimore   Sun 4:25pm
New Orleans   Sun 4:25pm
Philadelphia   Sun 8:20pm
New England   Mon 8:15pm
New York  
Teams Score Time
Colorado 4 08:56 3rd
Florida 4
Dallas 2 07:59 3rd
Pittsburgh 3
New York 2 10:40 3rd
Washington 3
Columbus 0 00:00 1st
Chicago 1
Detroit 0 16:00 1st
Edmonton 0
Carolina   10:00pm
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 12 Ryan Blaney 9
2 6 Ryan Newman 13
3 11 Denny Hamlin 40
4 10 Aric Almirola 5
5 34 Michael McDowell 22
6 3 Austin Dillon 20
7 32 Corey Lajoie 33
8 9 Chase Elliott 1
9 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 7
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 00 Cole Custer 3
2 7 Justin Allgaier 8
3 22 Austin Cindric 2
4 11 Justin Haley 11
5 98 Chase Briscoe 1
6 1 Michael Annett 16
7 9 Noah Gragson 7
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 17
9 8 Zane Smith 10
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 20 Spencer Boyd 25
2 4 Todd Gilliland 6
3 51 Riley Herbst 7
4 24 Brett Moffitt 8
5 52 Stewart Friesen 10
6 16 Austin Hill 13
7 17 Tyler Ankrum 2
8 88 Matt Crafton 1
9 2 Sheldon Creed 5