The Los Angeles Clippers had to deal with many issues coming back home to play Game 5 against the Golden State Warriors. After the sports world waited for the reaction to their owner Donald Sterling’s comments, they went out and put on a questionable performance to say the least. But with the verdict in on Sterling, the Clippers played like a weight had been lifted off their season.
The news of NBA commissioner Adam Silver banning Sterling from the NBA and fining him $2.5 million spread quickly enough on the eve of Game 5 for the Clippers. It could not have come sooner as the proverbial clock was ticking on the championship hopes for Los Angeles. But as the league responded so did the Clippers and their fans.
Los Angeles walked out to a standing ovation to get them going and they never looked back. The most notable improvement from Game 4 was big man DeAndre Jordan, who had virtually disappeared in that game. He would not let that happen again as he scored a playoff career-high 25 points, along with 18 boards. He put his stamp on the win when the Warriors went to their “hack-a-Jordan” tactic to force free-throws. Jordan was able to make some clutch free-throws down the stretch to solidify the big win.
They say home is where the heart is, and that is definitely what the Clippers displayed on Tuesday night. Only the term “heart” can explain the magnitude of this win in the face of such trying times in the Clippers’ franchise and the NBA as a whole. While many are keying in on the negatives of the ordeal, much should be said for the courage displayed in the Clippers’ victory on so many levels.