The Warriors feel inevitable.
So, when the Clippers let a 15-point second-half lead dwindle away in the final minutes, the game and series appeared over.
Instead, Lou Williams responded with a personal 8-0 – including a four-point play – run that sparked L.A. to a 129-121 Game 5 win Wednesday. The last two teams to lose a home Game 5 while leading a series 3-1:
- 2019 Warriors vs. Clippers
- 2016 Warriors vs. Cavaliers
Golden State will try to avoid any more comparisons to those 2016 NBA Finals in Game 6 Friday. The Warriors have won both their games in L.A. in this series, but have dropped two in Oakland – more home losses than they had the previous two postseasons combined.
The Rockets took care of business earlier in the night, but Golden State didn’t clinch its place in the anticipated rematch. The Clippers just aren’t making it easy.
“It’s a little mix of arrogance and just hard work,” said Williams, who scored 33 points and dished 10 assists. “We have a lot of young guys. We have a lot of veterans, guys that want to prove their names. We were wrote off early on in the year, people saying we weren’t a good team. We take all of those things. We digest it, and we try to make as much as we can out of it. So, it’s shown in this series.”
These Clippers have such an awesome identity.
They easily could have cherished their 31-point comeback in Game 2 as their moment of the series. But they kept fighting.
Patrick Beverley (17 points, 14 rebounds and four assists) was everywhere. Montrezl Harrell (24 points on 11-of-14 shooting with a clutch block) controlled the paint. Danilo Gallinari (26 points) got rolling after a couple off games.
L.A. has already won more games (two) than anyone except Houston (which won three in last year’s Western conference finals) in a series against the Warriors since they added Kevin Durant.
Durant scored 45 tonight, but Golden State turned up its defensive intensity too late.
“Build from this game? This game sucked. We lost,” Klay Thompson said. “Let’s go win Friday. Let’s win big. Let’s freaking win by 30 like we’re capable of.”