Clippers Lose to Spurs, 96-86

The Clippers lost their third straight NBA Western Conference semifinal game on Saturday

By Jason Kandel and Kevin LaBeach
|  Saturday, May 19, 2012  |  Updated 5:41 PM PDT
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Clippers Lose 21-Point Lead, First Place

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Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers catches a pass in front of Matt Bonner #15 of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 19, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

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The Los Angeles Clippers lost their third straight NBA Western Conference semifinal game on Saturday to the San Antonio Spurs, 96-86.

The Clippers showed promise early, scoring 33 points to the Spurs’ 11 in the first quarter.

But by the second quarter, the Clippers had lost some of their early energy as the Spurs surged by scoring 32 points to the Clippers’ 20.

Clippers Suffocated by Spurs Defense

The Clippers only scored 8 points to the Spurs’ 26 in the third quarter.

The Clippers face the Spurs in a do-or-die Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals on Sunday at Staples.

Even though they had a home-court advantage and looked to be on fire in the first quarter, they lost steam and the Spurs had a remarkable surge.

The Clippers faced an uphill battle as two of their top scorers -- Blake Griffin and Chris Paul -- played hurt and the Spurs won 16 straight games, including 6-0 in the playoffs.

No NBA team has ever come back to win a series after being down 0-3.

The Spurs beat the Clippers 105-88 on Thursday night.

Tony Parker scored 22 points and Tim Duncan had 18 during Game 2 in San Antonio.

Paul responded to his awful Game 1 with only a slightly better encore, scoring 10 points as the Clippers are now at home and desperate to steer out of what's starting to get the feel of a sweep.

Griffin led the Clippers with 20 points.

His plan to manage his ailing knee so the All-Star would have enough steam for the fourth proved moot, as both teams emptied their benches with another Spurs blowout assured.

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