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Here is a link to my Tuesday column about Game 2 between Warriors and Clippers. The full text runs below:

LOS ANGELES — Stephen Curry didn’t make it to the Staples Center for the first half of the Clippers’ 138-98 win over the Warriors. It’s such a sad story about Curry’s disappearance, and authorities are conducting a thorough investigation.

Bad guys kidnapped Curry before the game and locked him in a broom closet at the arena. The bad guys were either communists, the Mafia or Clippers cheerleaders. They substituted a Curry lookalike who had trained for months in a hideaway in the South Pole. The imposter Curry was so good at being Curry he even perfected the mouthpiece-dangling-from-the mouth maneuver.

Unfortunately, the imposter couldn’t shoot. In the first half, he took six shots sinking just one. Six shots is hardly the desired amount. He also made two free throws. Four points, total.

The real Curry showed up for the second half, shaken but determined. A custodian heard scratching in the broom closet, thought it was a muskrat. Turned out to be Curry. In the second half, Curry scored 20 points, nice but the entire second half was garbage time. As in meaningless.

What did we learn from Monday night’s endeavor? The Warriors cannot beat the Clippers without Curry. He is the Warriors’ superstar. Their only superstar. The Clips guarded him with three men and dared him to pass to teammates, who looked morally offended by the daring strategy. Not that any Warriors picked up the Curry slack.

The Clips did more than guard Curry with multiple defenders. They whacked him, hit him hard whenever he came off screens. Especially Matt Barnes who treated Curry like a junior sparring partner. You could hear the deep body shots on Curry at courtside. Maybe Curry should have stayed in the closet.

Memo to league: Doubling and tripling Curry and beating the life out of him is how you beat the Warriors. No one else can carry their team.

The Warriors need one more lights-out scorer. It could be Klay Thompson but too often it isn’t Klay Thompson. It sure wasn’t on Monday night — seven points on four shots, the Invisible Man. It was no one. Which means the Clippers executed a clinic on how to beat the Warriors.

Before the game, Mark Jackson talked brave. Someone asked if his players would be so delighted they won the first game they might relax in Game 2.

“We didn’t come here to win one game,” Jackson said, his voice stern. “I understand that mentality, but that’s not our mentality. We’re not surprised where we are. We want to win four games. There’s no sign of us that says, ‘We accomplished what we want now.’ We didn’t come here to get home-court advantage. We came here to play two games and win two games.”

They did?

The Warriors scored a mere 41 points in the first half when it was a game, sort of. Jackson considers his guys a defensive team, not that they played much defense against Los Angeles. But a little more offense couldn’t hurt when you consider the Clippers’ biggest lead was 40 — the lead kept growing until the very end. Forty points isn’t a lead. It’s advanced math. It’s score inflation.

Afterward, Doc Rivers analyzed Curry. “I just thought Steph was trying to get everyone else going on his team. I don’t think he was trying to force it, which was good for him. In the second half I thought he really started trying to go for it.”

Rivers said this with a straight face. He had the nerve to praise Curry for his first half, which Curry played in absentia.

Mark Jackson looked like he had the flu. “It’s similar to what they did in Game 1,” he said of the Clips mistreatment of his star. “They trapped him. They over-helped. They forced the ball out of his hands. They were the aggressor and we didn’t match their intensity early on. Overall, give them credit. They really disrupted us offensively and we didn’t make the adjustment.”

To say the least. The Warriors and Clippers reconvene Thursday night in Oakland. What’s the over/under on Curry staying out of the broom closet?

For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at lowell.cohn@pressdemocrat.com.

 

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Comments

4 Comments

  1. Stan

    ..and that’s the way this team rolls. Its predictable that they get blown out one game,come back and take game 3,and then game 2 is just another loss. Even Jackson didn’t sweat this game.
    That whole gang up on Curry thing works when Curry lets it. Game 3? he either comes out firing or he comes out assist champ of the world.

    April 22nd, 2014 10:03 am

  2. Dave T

    The Warriors need to learn from this and adjust. Make the early pass, punish the Clippers for coming at him early by moving the ball and getting open looks (which they need to knock down) and easy buckets and trips to the free throw line. It is what the Clippers did when the Warriors did the same to Clippers. They moved their feet and the ball, getting easy scoring chances and to the free throw line. It is now a best of 5, so a long way to go. Will the Warriors learn from here?

    Side note, Iguadala is in fact the Warriors 5th best starter, which is not a snide remark in the least. Considering it is one of the better starting units in the NBA it is simply a statement. Being the 5th best starter on say, the 76ers would be far more akin to a slap in the face than the 5th best on the Warriors.

    April 22nd, 2014 10:43 am

  3. Albert Park

    I just got back from vacation, so I’m not exactly on top of things, but I heard that the Warriors #1 center is out due to injury. Wouldn’t that have an effect on the result?

    April 22nd, 2014 4:46 pm

  4. Stan

    The Warriors played with house money..like they have all year,and why they have so many losses to bad teams after beating the better teams. Its not a good trait,but they seem to have the ability to come right back.
    And Curry is a star..but not the 6’8″ star that can over power the other team. He’s not LeBron height,or Durant or even Rick Barry. The team needs to compensate for that with a good solid David Lee effort.

    April 23rd, 2014 11:38 am

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