STAPLES CENTER — In his pre-game press conference Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said he didn’t come down to LA just to win one game.
His team didn’t get the memo.
The Warriors might as well have not shown up for Game 2 of their best-of-seven series against the Clippers, who tied the series with a stinging 138-98 victory.
The Warriors committed 19 fouls and 15 turnovers, all while their star guard Stephen Curry scored just four points. And that was just the first half.
There was no sugarcoating that the Clippers played with more desperation. Jackson said the Clippers disrupted the Warriors’ game plan and they couldn’t recover:
“We were bad. We played awful. We own it.”
Halftime changed nothing, as Golden State continued to spiral out of control.
The claws that were expected to come out in Game 1 finally showed themselves in the Game 2 blowout. Midway through the second quarter, Clippers coach Doc Rivers and Golden State big man Jermaine O’Neal exchanged words that landed both of them technical fouls.
Usually Curry is calm and collected on the court. But after two consecutive scoring drives on Griffin with no foul called on the Lob City star, Curry threw his mouth guard toward the Clippers bench and was handed a technical.
Curry said the frustrations of the game just came to a head, the score having a lot to do with it, and he reacted:
“The playoff atmosphere is energetic and when things aren’t going your way you’ve got to find a little way to get yourself going and get your teammates going. Just showing some fire, hopefully I can save some money next time.”
Moments later, the Clippers headed into the final frame with a 105-73 lead over the Warriors.
With 8:47 remaining and the Warriors down by 33 points, Glen Davis and Marreese Speights had to be separated by officials as a double technical was called.
Blake Griffin only played 19 minutes in Game 1 due to foul trouble. But before he sat Monday with two minutes left in the third quarter, he had racked up 35 points leading his team as the only player with more than 15 points.
Griffin said being able to perform well has a lot to do with how much trust his coaches and teammates have in him:
“Every NBA player deals with confidence issues at times and before every game to hear … go attack, go score, go do what you do. That’s a confidence builder that gets me into the game.”
The Clippers closed out the game with ease, with their starters on the bench and the series evened.
Games 3 and 4 will be played in Oakland on Thursday and Saturday.