Clippers to Enter Playoffs as Three Seed Against No. 6 Golden State
With final seeds on the line, the Los Angeles Clippers (57-25) fell to the Portland Trail Blazers (54-28) 110-104,on Wednesday. From the loss and an Oklahoma City Thunder win, the Clippers will now enter the playoffs as the Western Conference’s No. 3 seed and play No. 6 Golden State on Saturday.
Los Angeles arrived in Portland without a few of their key players including Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and J.J. Redick. Griffin missed the game after receiving a league suspension for his 16 technical fouls for the season. His most recent one came on Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets and that was the nail in the coffin for the league to give him a one-game suspension.
So who did play for the Clippers? DeAndre Jordan started out but after two minutes, headed to the bench for the rest of the game. Jamal Crawford played and led in scoring for the team with his 34 points. He carried most of the weight on his shoulders for the team as he got them within one point in the third quarter and did so again in the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer but both times Portland came roaring back.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of the game via the Associated Press, “We wanted to win. I hope I didn’t send the wrong message to you guys that because we sent guys home we weren’t going to play hard and play to win. We want to win the game. It’s a competition no matter who is out on the floor.”
As for Portland, they sat some of their starters including LaMarcus Aldridge as well as reserve Mo Williams while Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard only played in the first half. Portland did welcome back Joel Freeland, who had been out since Feb. 11.
Will Barton led in scoring for the team with his 23 points–a career high.
On Sunday in the battle of the 3-point teams, No. 5 Portland will face the No. 4 Houston Rockets for the first game of their series.
Here’s a look at Vegas’ thoughts on the upcoming NBA Playoffs.
The Clippers sit at 9/2 to win the Western Conference and 9/1 to win the 2014 NBA Championship. Portland sits with 18/1 odds to win the conference but 40/1 to win it all.
Vegas also has some NBA Championship Matchups. Take a look for the Clippers.
As for Golden State (51-31) with the No. 6 seed for this year’s playoffs, they ended their regular season on Wednesday with a 116-112 win over the Nuggets.
In a game full of backups, Jordan Crawford and Harrison Barnes dominated for Golden State. Crawford scored a team-leading and career high 41 points while Barnes contributed 30 points.
Most of the team’s starters rested with Klay Thompson as the only one to hit the floor. He play for eight minutes and grabbed eight points.
Steve Blake, who scored eight points, said of the game via the Associated Press, “It was nice for us to get the opportunity to play a lot of minutes and have fun. Even though it’s the last game of the year, it’s a good win for us.”
For Golden State, they ended the season 51 points–their first 50-game win season since back in 1993-94. Their visit to the playoffs is their second straight one.
Denver is a different story as they’re used to going to the playoffs every year. With this year’s absence, it will be a first since the 2002-2003 season. This came as Denver played under first-year coach Brian Shaw.
Anthony Randolph led in scoring for Denver with his 19 points on Wednesday.
For Golden State, they sit at 14/1 to win the Western Conference and 28/1 to win the championship.