If you followed this series, then you know just how good it was.
I doubted the Clippers all along. I felt that when they let Game 2 slip away it would cost them the series, and then, even after an impressive Game 6 win in San Antonio, I still didn’t give them much of a chance in Game 7. CP3 and friends clearly proved me wrong in one of the best Game 7s that you’ll ever see on Saturday night, in between the Kentucky Derby and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.
Chris Paul returned from a hamstring injury earlier in the game to finish off the Spurs with the game-winner with just a second remaining. That type of toughness, along with the focus the Clips showed in Games 6 and 7, was something we’ve never seen from them before — particularly the Paul/Griffin combo.
Paul led the emotional charge with 27 points and six assists, including 5-for-6 from downtown and a gutsy game-winner over two Spurs defenders while jumping off the wrong foot (that you can see in the video above). Blake Griffin carried the rest of the load, putting together a 24 point, 13 rebound, 10 assist triple-double effort.
Here’s some history for ESPN Stats & Info:
What a Game 7 … 31 lead changes, 16 ties … and 8.8 seconds to go in a tie game— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2015
Chris Paul for the win! Game-winning basket with 1 second left to knock out the defending champion Spurs. pic.twitter.com/ABh9dnrxgm— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2015
This is 1st time in Clippers history they won a playoff series in which they trailed 3 games to 2 pic.twitter.com/EyG8d87NZ7— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2015
Turns out Griffin did something we haven’t seen since the early days of Scottie Pippen:
The Clippers are 3-0 in Game 7s with Chris Paul, 0-2 in Game 7s without him— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2015
And let’s not forget about Tim Duncan, who closed out the series with 27 points and 11 boards, playing over 37 minutes:
Blake Griffin is the 1st forward with a triple-double in a Game 7 since Scottie Pippen, 1992 Bulls— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2015
Gregg Popovich expects the Spurs to be right back in the playoffs with championship expectations next season, and he’s probably right. But this was all about the Clippers. They’re on to the Rockets now.
Tim Duncan: 4th 20-10 game this series (oldest player with 4 in a series) He totaled two 20-10 games last postseason— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2015
Assuming CP3 is healthy and doesn’t miss any time, I’m not sleeping on them anymore. They’re going to “upset” the Rockets after getting past the Spurs as the “favorites.” But let’s be real, that first-round series could have featured the second and third best teams in the NBA behind the Warriors. The Spurs were favored and the Clippers proved they’re for real. Houston, we have a problem.
Follow me on Twitter @julianedlow