The Norman Transcript

National Sports

April 21, 2014

Young Clippers trying to mature against Warriors



At the point: The Warriors’ Stephen Curry had 14 points — 10 below his average — and seven turnovers in Game 1. He was just 2 of 6 from 3-point range. His teammates will try to get him more open looks while the Clippers double-team him again. “I expect that kind of attack all series,” Curry said. “I have to be patient with the ball and make the right read and look for the weak-side shooter, that’s how you attack a double team.” Paul, known as one of the best closers in the game, faltered down the stretch. His final 18 seconds went like this: lost the ball out of bounds, missed two free throws, earned a fifth foul and missed a 3-pointer. He scored 28 points, but had six turnovers. “There’s no excuse for the mental errors we made,” Griffin said.

Free points: The Clippers missed 12 free throws, and for once it wasn’t all Jordan’s fault. The team’s worst free throw shooter was 3 of 8, but hit two key ones to pull Los Angeles within one in the final three minutes. Surprisingly, three of the Clippers’ best — Paul, Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison — combined to make just 11 of 18, which proved costly in their four-point loss. “That’s huge,” Paul said. “You make them, you don’t turn the ball over as much and you defend. Luckily, we get a chance to redeem ourselves.”

Better start: Warriors coach Mark Jackson was forced to burn two timeouts to get his team settled down after being stunned 12-1 to open the game. The Warriors don’t want to fall into another double-digit hole and spend the rest of the half digging out. “They will come hard at us because they’re competitive, but we have to focus on the game plan and don’t freak out,” reserve Steve Blake said.

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