NBA

Not This Time! Comeback Clippers Get Walloped by Warriors, 132-105, in Game 3

Kevin Durant had 38 points and the Golden State Warriors walloped the Los Angeles Clippers, 132-105, in Game 3 of their best-of-seven series at Staples Center.

The Warriors knew the truth about Game 2.

They should never have lost.

If not for the greatest comeback in NBA postseason history, the Warriors would be up 3-0, and on the precipice of a first-round sweep of the Los Angeles Clippers.

So when the Warriors went up by 31 points with 7:10 left in the third quarter on Thursday—the same lead they lost in Game 2—this time they kept their foot on the gas.

"I think everybody felt like we had that game in hand last game," said Warriors' forward Kevin Durant. " A 30-point lead. Hasn't happened in 30 some years. It's kind of natural and normal for anybody watching that game to kind of relax, right? Even at home. But the players can't do that. I think we did that. I think that was just a smart lesson that we can learn from."

Durant made sure it didn't happen again, scoring 38 points as the Golden State Warriors walloped the Los Angeles Clippers, 132-105, in Game 3 of their best-of-seven series at Staples Center.

"He came out super aggressive, in kill mode," said Draymond Green who finished with eight points and 10 assists. "I think he was due for a game like this. There's been a lot of talk about him and that matchup [with Patrick Beverly]. How many people can stop Kevin if Kevin don't want to be stopped? He showed that tonight."

Durant made his impact felt early and often, scoring 27 points as the Warriors took a commanding 21-point lead at the half. 

"I think Coach [Steve] Kerr came up with some plays for me at the start of the game," said Durant of his hot start. "I think doing that kind of set the tone. Just putting pressure on the defense through post-ups, through dribble handoffs. We was just more patient tonight, to sum it up."

In fact, the Warriors have taken commanding leads in each of the first three games of the series, and have led for 135 minutes of the 144 played in the series thus far.

They led by 19 points in Game 1, 31 points in Game 2, and by as many as 36 points in Game 3.

If not for a lack of defensive focus in the fourth quarter of Game 2, the Warriors and Clippers matchup would look more like a varsity team taking it to their JV counterpart.

"The game got away from us the other night, everybody knows that," said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. "We just had to keep the same mentality and same defensive focus. We have to play the full 48-minutes. We did that tonight."

Stephen Curry added 21 points, and the Warriors set the tone early with 41 points in the first quarter, as they led wire-to-wire for the easy win in Game 3.

"High energy, high focus. We tried to set the tone early in the first six minutes," said Curry of the difference in the in the first quarter. "As much momentum as we lost in the final 16 minutes of Game 2, we got it all back early. Everybody was clicking. Seemed like every possession we knew what we were trying to accomplish on both ends of the floor. Everybody was aggressive, decisive, getting good shots on every possession. Helped that most of them were going in."

Not only was everything going in, but Durant and Curry saw the rim look more like the Pacific Ocean as everything they shot went splash in the first quarter. The Warriors shot 80 percent from deep in the first 12 minutes and 70 percent from the field overall.

"They came ready to play." said the NBA's presumptive 6th Man of the Year Award winner Lou Williams of the Warriors. "We embarrassed them on their home floor that last game. I'm guessing that's how they felt. They made a concerted effort to come back and respond tonight."

A win on Easter Sunday, and the Warriors can send the Clippers to the brink of elimination, and close out the series at Oracle next Wednesday.

Before the game, Clippers' head coach Doc Rivers said he still had nightmares that his team was down by 31 points in Game 2. He admitted that if they went down 31 again in Game 3, it wasn't going to turn out as well.

He was right. 

With the Warriors more focused on not making the same mistake twice, the Clippers comeback fell well short of the miraculous victory they stole in Game 2.

"It's just not very smart to get down by 31 points," said Rivers after Game 3. "Honestly, I don't care who you're playing, if you get down, it's hard. The better the team, it's harder. So to think you're going to do that against them again is fool's gold."

Williams only had 16 points and Montrezl Harrell finished with 15. Ivica Zubac had 18 points and 15 rebounds, and was the only Clippers starter in double figures.

"To say we were embarrassed is accurate. We got beat by 30 points on our home court," said Zubac. "I just have to play harder. I have to do my best every possession and in what I do. I have to be a star in my role whatever it takes. I need to be aggressive as I can be."

The Warriors were definetely the aggressor on Thursday, as they outplayed the Clippers in nearly every facet of the game. They outrebounded the Clippers, 50-43, had more assists, 35-to-21, and had 11 blocks, compared to just two for L.A.

After struggling from the field in the fourth quarter of Game 2, the Warriors shot 55 percent from the field in Game 3, and a scorching, 43 percent from beyond the arc.

Next

Game 4 is set for Easter Sunday at 12:30PM PT.

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