NBA: Clippers over and out - Pasadena Star-News
NBA: Clippers over and out
San Antonio makes it a series sweep with win over L.A.
By Jill Painter,
LOS ANGELES - They say closeout games are the hardest. Not for the San Antonio Spurs.
The Clippers pushed the Spurs to the very end, but the Spurs ultimately made plays down the stretch and won 102-99 to sweep the Western Conference semifinal series Sunday night at Staples Center.
The Spurs have won 18 consecutive games and are 8-0 through two rounds of the playoffs.
There were 52 seconds left when Chris Paul made a pair of free throws to pull the Clippers within 100-99. San Antonio's Tony Parker then missed a jumper.
The Clippers almost lost the ball, but called a timeout. Paul drove the lane and looked like he wanted to pass and a Spurs player got a piece of the ball.
The Spurs recovered the loose ball and Paul fouled Danny Green, who made one of two free throws with 10 seconds left. After a timeout, the Clippers called Paul's number. He drove the lane, but his shot missed.
Parker then made one of two free throws with 1.7 seconds left. The Clippers didn't even get off a last-second shot as Mo Williams lost control of the ball.
Blake Griffin sustained a bloody lip and missed the final two minutes of the first half to get stitches.
One of his teeth went through the lip, and he emerged from the locker room for the second half with a bandage covering those stitches. He received two stitches on his outer lip and two stitches on the inner lip.
Guard Eric Bledsoe had the hot hand late. He made 8 of
10 shots and scored 17 points.
Griffin had 21 points and five rebounds while Paul had 23 points and 11 assists but missed his final two shots.
In the first half, the Clippers trailed by as many as 12 points, but they rallied to cut San Antonio's lead to 51-47 at halftime in front of a sellout crowd of 19,060.
"We've handled adversity all season," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said before the game. "I expect everybody to play hard. There's no pacing yourself. There's no feeling sorry for yourself."
Clearly, the message got through to the Clippers.
DeAndre Jordan - who has struggled this postseason - came to play in the first half. He had a team-best eight points, six rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot by the intermission.
The Clippers shot just 36.4 percent in the first quarter - and Caron Butler missed four of his first five shots - but they trailed just 26-21.
With about two minutes left in the second quarter, Griffin was called for a questionable foul defending Parker on the wing, in which Griffin fell and appeared to take a charge as Parker clocked him in the face with his arm.
That's when Griffin went to the locker room. When the half was over, fans screamed "Ref, you (stink)." One courtside fan appeared to touch an official while yelling at him, and a security guard grabbed the man. The fan then flung his arm away and a halftime of arguing with security ensued, but the fan was back in his seat for the second half.
NO D, NO RING!!!!
With 26 points on 4 of 4 shots from distance in only 20 minutes of PT. Efficient eviceration.
Wolves' fan: ginobili vs. the wolves is like he's just kind of laughing to himself all game...kind of like he thinks it's cute that they're trying to play basketball.
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