Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Clippers Game 6
Photo: USA TODAY Sports
With a critical Game 5 win in Oakland, the Clippers just got what they wanted in this series: a trip back to California and the golden opportunity to push the defending champs to the brink of elimination. The Warriors will be more locked in this time, but expect the Clippers to feed off from a crazy atmosphere in Staples Center as they try to win one at their home turf.
Game Technical Details
Date: Friday, April 26
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Staples Center – Los Angeles, California
TV broadcast: ESPN
Golden State Warriors (3-2)
Top Performers in Game 5
(SF) Kevin Durant – 45 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 14-26 FG, 5-12 3-pt, 12-12 FT
(PG) Stephen Curry – 24 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 7-15 FG, 4-5 3-pt
(SG) Klay Thompson – 22 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-20 FG, 4-11 3-pt
X-Factor for Game 6: Stephen Curry
Bay Area fans need Stephen Curry to attempt more than five three-pointers in Game 6. After a measly 1-9 shooter from deep range during the Warriors’ Game 4 victory, it seemed like Curry stepped back a bit from attempting three-pointers in Game 5. Despite shooting a very high percentage from beyond the arc, Curry just attempted five shots from deep, successfully hitting four. Curry has always been one of the most confident shooters in our league right now, and one of the best shooters in basketball history. The Warriors need to regain their swag and championship character, and the two-time MVP has always been the source for it.
Los Angeles Clippers (2-3)
Top Performers in Game 5
(PG/SG) Lou Williams – 33 points, 4 rebounds, 11 assists, 12-19 FG, 8-9 FT
(SF) Danilo Gallinari – 26 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-22 FG, 3-11 FT
(PF) Montrezl Harrell – 24 points, 5 rebounds, 11-14 FG,
(PG) Patrick Beverley – 17 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 5-11 3-pt
X-Factor for Game 6: Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell
It was again the Williams and Harrell show in Game 5. Just like what they impressively did in their Game 2 comeback win, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell put on another display of late-game heroics as they combined for 56 points, including some clutch shots in regulation. The Warriors still don’t have the answers when both Sixth Man of the Year candidates get going on the offensive end, so look for the Clippers to again rely on the able shoulders of Lou and Montrezl to carry them in the crucial stretches of Game 6.
Statistical takeaways from Game 5
The Clippers had a massive 58-17 bench points production. Of course, we kind of expected this already. Williams and Harrell have shared most of the team’s offensive workload all season long, and bench production will be a clear-cut advantage for them in this series. However, it doesn’t have to be this lopsided for the Warriors. Durant, Curry and Thompson accounted for 91 of Golden State’s 121 total points, an obvious indication that the problem is not on the team’s star trio. The Warriors bench mob has to contribute more on the scoring department. Steve Kerr could tap into utilizing scoring guard Quinn Cook in Game 6, a spitfire scorer who was a DNP in the loss.
Patrick Beverley had a game-high 14 rebounds. How could we forget the massive Game 5 performance of Beverley? Standing just a shade below 6-foot-2, the defensive ace put on quite a show as he eclipsed double-digit production in the boards, and inspiring his whole squad. For the defending champs, this is completely unacceptable. The Warriors, who have faced all odds during their four consecutive trips to the Finals, have to show their championship class and come through with a championship stand against the antics, energy and hustle that Beverley brings to the table.
Prediction: Warriors display sense of urgency with series-deciding Game 6 win
While most inhabitants of the basketball world would want a Game 7 in Oracle Arena, Durant and the rest of the Warriors squad know better than giving a feisty Clippers team the chance to steal another game in this series. The social media is already bursting with the infamous ‘3-1’ curse, but Warriors head coach Steve Kerr definitely have other plans in mind. The Warriors will immediately step on the gas right out the gates, and there’s not a team yet in this league who can stop the defending champs when they turned on their ignition. It will be a crazy, even rowdy atmosphere in Staples, and Beverley will again be the sparkplug that he is on both ends of the floor. But at the end of the night, the Warriors will throw the ‘3-1’ curse in the trash bin, and get ready for a massive rematch against James Harden and the Houston Rockets.