Weary Los Angeles Clippers Can't Match Golden State Warriors' Intensity

By Scott Groff
blake griffin
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers‘ recent Grammy road trip finally caught up to them as they were outplayed in all phases on the game on Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors.

The Clippers were annihilated by a score of 111-92. Los Angeles has been on an adrenaline rush since the loss of their All-Star point guard Chris Paul and have been relying on defensive intensity to go 10-3 since his injury. The team looked tired after just finishing up their road trip, then playing one game at home, followed up by Thursday’s game in the Bay Area.

Golden State beat the Clippers to every loose ball and were consistently getting lay-ups and dunks via backdoor cuts. The points in the paint battle was heavily in favor of the Warriors, a sure sign of being the more aggressive team. At one point, Marreese Speights missed a wide-open dunk but had more than enough time to grab his own miss and put it back in.

It was a far cry from the previous matchup of these two teams on Christmas where the game went down to the wire with several scuffles breaking out. This time, the Warriors had their way with little resistance. If there is one glaring criticism you can make about the Clippers, it is their lack of defensive IQ. There were several times when Blake Griffin looked confused on switches off the ball and the man he was supposed to take ended up cutting for a layup.

J.J. Redick is a very undersized shooting guard which allows just about anyone to shoot over the top of him and feel comfortable scoring on him in the paint. Stephen Curry took advantage by shooting a super efficient 8-of-10 from the field and 4-of-4 from three. Los Angeles went on a run to end the first half to cut the halftime deficit to eight, but it didn’t last long as the Warriors answered with a 16-2 spurt to start the third quarter.

The last matchup of the season between these two teams will be on March 12 at Staples Center, where Paul should be available to play.

Scott Groff is a writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter @ucla_unknown.  Add him to your network on Google.

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