04/25 01:12 CDT Lou Williams, Clippers force Game 6 against champ Warriors
Lou Williams, Clippers force Game 6 against champ Warriors
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) --- Lou Williams again came off the bench and knocked down
big shot after big shot. Patrick Beverley crashed the boards at every chance.
Danilo Gallinari drove the lane with authority.
The Los Angeles Clippers took the Warriors right out of their comfort zone by
beating the two-time defending champions at their own game with energy on both
ends, extending their season long after many had counted them out.
Williams hit a fadeaway jumper with 1:29 left and finished with 33 points and
10 assists, Golden State uncharacteristically clanked shots much of the second
half and couldn't make key stops, and the upstart Clippers sent their
first-round series back home with a 129-121 Game 5 win on Wednesday night.
No clinch celebration just yet for the two-time defending champions, who lead
3-2 but needed far more than Kevin Durant's playoff career-high 45 points.
"I don't want to get ahead of myself. They're up 3-2 still, but I just loved
how we played, I really did," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "All we talked
about is being us. I told our guys, they've been them in the series. We have
yet to put a game where we are us through the game."
The Clippers stymied Golden State's comeback effort on the very court at Oracle
Arena where Los Angeles rallied from 31 points down in Game 2 for the largest
comeback in NBA postseason history.
Game 6 is Friday back in Los Angeles.
Beverley took a big charge against Klay Thompson with 1:40 left and wound up
with 17 points and 14 rebounds for his best outing of the series.
"I thought Patrick Beverley came in, just kicked our butts right away,"
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "He came out with more energy than we had and
that set a tone."
Houston and James Harden are on to the second round and waiting for another
chance at the champs. The Clippers said not just yet, they're not done.
The Rockets, who squandered a 3-2 series lead to the Warriors in last year's
Western Conference finals, eliminated the Jazz with a 100-93 Game 5 victory at
home a few hours earlier Wednesday. Sure, the Warriors have thought about a
potential second-round matchup.
"Our focus was to come in and extend the series and get another game on our
home floor," Williams said. "It's their mistake for looking ahead. That's on
Gallinari added 26 points and seven rebounds, and Montrezl Harrell had 24
points as the eighth-seeded Clippers are keeping things interesting until the
"We've got to bring it if we're going to beat them," Kerr said.
Durant raised his arm late and called on the Oracle Arena crowd for a major
assist --- the Warriors needed every little bit of help. Thompson's 3 with 4:02
left made it 116-114 and Durant tied it on a driving dunk the next time down.
Stephen Curry scored 24 points and Thompson 22 but Golden State didn't have it
"If we come out and just think we're going to roll over this team because
they're an 8 seed, it doesn't work that way in the NBA playoffs," Warriors
center Andrew Bogut said.
Durant shot 14 for 26 in his third performance of at least 30 points in the
series and ninth 40-point postseason effort.
Curry, already the NBA's career playoff leader for made 3-pointers, reached 400
But the Warriors --- all of them, their best shooters --- missed badly on good
looks and couldn't defend the way they typically do to generate that
sensational transition game.
"That's the worst-case scenario for any team. You're missing shots and can't
get stops, you feel like you're in a bottomless pit," Durant said. "Hopefully
we knock down shots and get stops next game."
Golden State trailed 71-63 at halftime despite making 10 of 16 3s but allowed
Los Angeles to shoot 56%, and the Clippers finished at 54.1%.
Gallinari hit a 3 out of the break then a free throw following Draymond Green's
technical and Los Angeles made it 81-66 on JaMychal Green's 3 at the 9:09 mark.
"It's been a year where things haven't gone exactly smoothly all the time,"
Kerr said. "I'm not surprised by anything, but I expected to come out and play
better and win the game. But it's the NBA playoffs. This is a seven-game series
and you've got to play. You've got to defend with some urgency."
NO SUBSTITUTION NECESSARY
Alfonzo McKinnie knocked down a 3 to end the first moments after he had left
the court with Kerr trying to sub in Thompson to play the final possession, but
since Beverley --- who'd been bleeding from a knock by Curry --- stayed in the
game the referees ruled McKinnie must return to the floor.
Nothing was going to keep Draymond Green from playing Game 5 --- even his
troublesome right wrist. An MRI showed no serious issues and he practiced fully
The wrist has been bothering him since the beginning of Game 3 when "I got a
pretty good whack on it."
"It's still sore," Green said at shootaround. "If the MRI said it was broken by
the way I was still going to play. So it really didn't matter."
Clippers: Gallinari missed his initial four 3-point tries before connecting
late in the first and finished 3 of 11 from deep. ... The Clippers outrebounded
the Warriors 42-39.
Warriors: Golden State scored 41 points in the first for its third 40-point
quarter of the series --- the first time in the shot clock era (1954-55) the
Warriors have done so in one playoff series. ... Durant (3,816) passed John
Havlicek (3,776) for 12th place on the NBA's career postseason scoring list.
... The Warriors are 9-3 in Game 5s dating to their title run in 2015. ...
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