If there was one question about the Clippers, it was their toughness after falling apart at home in Game 5.
In Game 6 they answered that call with what could be called the biggest victory in their franchise’s history. With their backs against the wall in San Antonio, the Clippers showed their toughness against a far more proven Spurs team, playing with the aggression of a team with their season on the line.
The Clips have been known to let controversial calls get the best of them down the stretch, but they were able to overcome them in Game 6 en route to a 102-96 victory. The Clippers gritty performance was led by their stars, as their lackluster bench was only able to produce 15 points.
Chris Paul set the tone with 19 points, 15 assists, four rebounds and four steals, while Blake Griffin carried the scoring load with 26 to go along with 12 boards, six helpers and four rejections. DeAndre Jordan also chipped in with 15 points (on 4-for-5 shooting from the field), 14 boards and three blocks of his own, while catching fire at the free throw line in a 7-for-15 effort.
The only bad news for the Clippers was that Glen Davis went down with what is being called a left ankle sprain. He was taken off in a wheel chair and obviously didn’t return to the game. If he’s forced to miss Game 7 (and he likely will) it will be a huge hit to an already thin L.A. bench.
The Spurs used Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard to defend CP3 during crucial moments, which worked at times because of Leonard’s size advantage, but Paul’s will to win was too much. His teammates fed off of his energy and played with an angry focus, rather than letting their frustrations turn into distractions as they had in previous games.
The Clippers showed us that they can go on the road and get a ballsy playoff win — something we’ve been yet to see them do. The reward is a Game 7 in front of their home crowd at the Staples Center. But unless they’re able to maintain the same focus they played with in Game 6, LAC is going to be in big trouble. If there’s any team that can suck the life out of you in a Game 7 home or away it’s the Spurs — who will just be trying to add another countless ballsy win to their resume.
The Clippers have shown a lot in this series whether they win or not, and I feel whoever comes out on top in Game 7 will take down the Rockets in the next round. I would never want to have a gun to my head and be asked to pick this game, but if I had to I would still go with the Spurs. However, I’ve been doubting the Clippers all along, so maybe they can continue to impress. After everything both teams have been through this series, this closeout game isn’t going to be a Bulls vs. Bucks style blowout. We’re in for a GREAT Game 7.
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