It looked like both Game 2s on Monday were going to be blowouts, but the Clippers pulled off an NBA-record 31-point come back to shock the Warriors on the same night they lost DeMarcus Cousins, who went down early with a left quad injury that didn’t look good. At all. And the Sixers blew out the Nets in Game 2.
Clippers 135, Warriors 131 - Series tied 1-1
DeMarcus Cousins went down with a non-contact quad injury and stayed on the floor briefly before heading to the locker room in obvious pain. He’ll have an MRI and while this doesn’t look good at all, at least it wasn’t his Achilles. Adrian Wojnarowski reported early Tuesday morning that the team fears he tore his left quad, which would almost certainly put him out for the rest of the playoffs. The Warriors did such a great job of managing Boogie all season and having him fully healthy for the postseason, so it’s really just a sad story. Kevon Looney and Andrew Bogut just became very important pieces for the Warriors.
Golden State opened up a 73-50 first half lead behind 22 points and four 3-pointers from Stephen Curry in just 18 minutes on Monday, but the Clippers found a way to come back and win the game in thrilling fashion, which included a 15-2 fourth-quarter run, and won the second half 85-58. If you went to bed at halftime, you missed a doozy. Kevin Durant fouled out in the fourth quarter with 21 points after being hassled by Patrick Beverley all night, who also fouled out. Durant put the Warriors ahead by five with a three-point play on a dunk just before fouling out with 2-plus minutes left, and Stephen Curry hit a huge 3-pointer late. But Lou Williams was nearly unstoppable, the Clippers went on another run in the closing minutes, and the Clippers took the lead at 133-131 behind Landry Shamet’s big 3-pointer with just 15.9 seconds left. Curry then missed a 3-pointer, Montrezl Harrell grabbed the rebound, and hit both of his free throws after being fouled to ice the game with 5.1 seconds left. Unbelievable. The Clippers were down by 31 at one point in this game, making it the biggest playoff comeback win in NBA history. The Warriors were up 94-63 in the third quarter, but then the Clippers went on a 72-37 run and stole Game 2.
The Clippers were led by Lou Williams’ playoff career-high 36 points with 11 assists, Montrezl Harrell added 25 points and 10 boards, hitting all nine of his shots, and Danilo Gallinari added 24 points and six dimes in the win. Beverley had just 10 points, five assists and two 3-pointers, Shamet had 12 points, four boards, three assists, two steals and four 3-pointers, including the game-winner, and JaMychal Green had 13 points, seven boards, a steal and two 3-pointers in just 15 minutes.
The Warriors got 29 points and five 3-pointers from Curry, who scored just seven points in the second half. Durant finished with 21 points, five assists and a whopping nine turnovers (many, thanks to Beverley), and Klay Thompson had 17 points and just one 3-pointer in the unlikely loss. Draymond Green added 14 points, three boards, nine assists, two steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer, and Looney scored a career-high 19 points with five boards on 6-of-6 shooting in just 19 minutes. Looney’s going to be nearly a must-play in DFS going forward.
This was one of the most bizarre and catastrophic nights in Oracle Arena history, but the Warriors are still going to right the ship and take out the Clippers, even without Cousins. At least, I think they will. But this was an incredible comeback by the Clippers and despite a lack of fantasy stats, Beverley is the key to the whole thing, as he is in the Warriors’ collective heads.
Sixers 145, Nets 123 – Series tied 1-1
This was a one-point game at halftime, but the Sixers blew it open in the third quarter, starting with a 14-0 run, and never looked back. The blowout score was important for Joel Embiid, and he was able to rest for the fourth quarter and played just 21 minutes after playing 24 minutes in Saturday’s opener as he continues to play through a sore left knee. Embiid had 23 points and 10 boards, hitting 8-of-12 shots and 7-of-8 free throws, while Ben Simmons bounced back from a rough Game 1 for his second playoff triple-double of 18 points, 10 rebounds, 12 dimes and two steals, also hitting 8-of-12 shots. Tobias Harris overcame some early struggles for 19 points, five boards, two dimes and two 3-pointers, J.J. Redick added 17 points and two 3-pointers, and Jimmy Butler was quiet, finishing with just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting. Butler also had seven assists and a steal in the win.
The Sixers got 15 points and three triples off the bench from Mike Scott, and Boban Marjanovic had a fun night with 16 points and eight boards in just 18 minutes. He’s been getting nice run with Embiid banged up, and has been a very serviceable DFS center thus far. I suspect that trend will continue until Embiid’s fully healthy. The 145 points the Sixers scored is a franchise playoff record.
The Nets starters really struggled in this one, as Jarrett Allen (9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block), Rodions Kurucs (8 points, 5 rebounds), DeMarre Carroll (6 points) and Joe Harris (4 points on 1-of-4 shooting) all failed to hit double digits in scoring. D’Angelo Russell had 16 points and three 3-pointers, but hit just 6-of-16 shots and committed four turnovers. They’re going to need Russell to step up if they’re going to upset the Sixers, although the Nets still hold home court advantage after taking Game 1 111-102.
Spencer Dinwiddie led the bench brigade with 19 points, three dimes and three 3-pointers, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who was more involved due to the absence of Jared Dudley (calf) and the lopsided score, added 15, and Shabazz Napier and Caris LeVert each scored 13 points in the loss. Ed Davis played through his ankle injury, but lasted just six minutes after piling up 12 points and 16 rebounds in Game 1. Embiid has been bullying Allen, so the Nets have to be hoping that Davis will get healthy and help to slow down Philly’s big man.
News & Notes
Russell Westbrook (right ankle) practiced fully on Monday and should be good to go for Tuesday’s Game 2.
Paul George (right shoulder) said he was pain free in Monday’s practice, so he’s also good to go tonight.
Blake Griffin (left knee) now sounds doubtful for the entire first round, being held out by Detroit’s medical staff. There’s still a chance he’ll play against the Bucks, but it’s far from guaranteed.
Magic @ Raptors 8 p.m. on TNT (Magic lead 1-0)
Spurs @ Nuggets 9 p.m. on NBATV (Spurs lead 1-0)
Thunder @ Blazers 10:30 p.m. on TNT (Blazers lead 1-0)