Remember the suffocating, play-making defense the Warriors displayed in blowing out the Lakers on Wednesday? Apparently, it was stuck in traffic on the way to Los Angeles.
Or maybe Chris Paul is just that good.
The All-NBA point guard torched Golden State for 18 points and nine assists in the first half. The Clippers took a 68-55 lead into the locker room after shooting 51.1 percent the first two quarters.
Golden State, playing the second night of a back-to-back, don’t look nearly as sharp on defense as they did in the 31-point rout of the Los Angeles Lakers. Paul is breaking down the defense off the dribble (though Klay Thompson has had some success defending him). The Warriors have also given up 11 offensive rebounds, which has led to 15 second-chance points.
Plus, Golden State is doing a lot of fouling. The Clippers have already attempted 24 free throws through one half, making 17.
Golden State made some headway with the second unit. Certainly, it was mostly against the Clippers’ second unit, but the trip of Jermaine O’Neal, Marreese Speights and Draymond Green slowed the Clippers after they racked up 36 points on 50 percent shooting in the half. They were physical and forced the Warriors into a tone of aggression.It slowed the pace but also helped get Los Angeles in the penalty early.
Over the first six minutes of the second quarter, the Warriors held the Clippers to just 11 points on 5 of 12 shooting. But then the starters came in. For both teams. And the Clippers were back to rolling. They scored 20 points over the final six minutes to replenish the lead. The Warriors starters are not getting back well enough in transition and have lost contact with the outside shooters on several occasions. The trio of Jamal Crawford, J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley combined for 27 points on 10 of 18 shooting, including four 3-pointers.