The Golden State Warriors took care of business on the road and can clinch a spot in their fifth straight Western Conference semifinal series when they host the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in Game 5 on Wednesday. The Warriors squandered a 31-point lead in losing Game 2 but recovered with a pair of impressive wins as Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson led the way.
Golden State is trying to end the series as quickly as possible to prepare for a likely semifinal round against the Houston Rockets and followed up a blowout victory in Game 3 with a 113-105 triumph in Game 4 on Sunday. “We didn’t want to extend this series any longer because we know how grueling the playoffs can be,” Thompson told reporters. “We already let one slip away, so tonight we came in with that mindset to put our foot on the throttle and not let go.” The Clippers trailed by three points entering the fourth quarter on Sunday and were in the game until the final minutes before falling short. “We wish we could get it back,” forward JaMychal Green told reporters. “I don’t know what we’d do differently but, man, we need those possessions, need to get stops and we needed this game.”
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, FS Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)
When: 10:30 PM ET, Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS: Los Angeles small forward Danilo Gallinari went 5-of-20 from the floor on Sunday and 7-of-33 in the two home games, dropping his shooting percentage for the series to 29.2. Shooting guard Lou Williams, who collected 36 points and 11 assists in the Game 2 victory, went a combined 6-of-21 in Games 3 and 4. “It still was a four-point, six-point game, but clearly if those two guys – and those are our two key offensive guys – struggle, then it’s going to be hard, very, very hard for us to win against anyone,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters of Gallinari and Williams after Game 4. “Let alone Golden State.”
ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Thompson scored 27 of his 32 points in the first half to spark Golden State on Sunday and credited his series-best effort with a dip in the Pacific Ocean in Saturday, while coach Steve Kerr credited the performance with lifting the team. “When Klay gets going like that, it fuels the whole bench,” Kerr told reporters. “You can see everybody jumping around. Everybody gets happy. We all love when Klay gets hot. It fuels our momentum. It didn’t surprise me at all. He kind of had a quiet first few games of the series, so it was only a matter of time until he broke out.” Durant, who poured in 38 points to fuel the rout in Game 3, added 33 points on 12-of-21 shooting in Sunday’s triumph.
1. Warriors PG Stephen Curry was held to 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting, including 1-of-9 from 3-point range, in Game 4.
2. Los Angeles PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 25 points on Sunday after failing to reach double figures in the previous two games.
3. Thompson is 8-of-11 from 3-point range in the last two contests.
PREDICTION: Warriors 116, Clippers 99