Los Angeles, Ca- Los Angeles Clippers ensure the NBA will have new Reigning champion after 111-109 victory over San Antonio Spurs. This first round match up was one for the records books that took all seven games and last 8.8 seconds of fourth quarter. The series tied 3 game apiece, with the last tie 109 points before captain Chris Paul on strained hamstring dropped 9′ running bank shot to secure the victory.
Paul strained his hamstring in the first quarter, returned in the second quarter and finished with 27 points, six assists and will to win that spilled over to his whole team. Paul said, “We talked about if we get down into a last-second shot what we wanted to do,” & “We’ve been in that situation a lot of times already this year, and most of the time I hadn’t made it, to tell you the truth. We talked about it, and finally it worked when we needed it.” This series was little like a passing of the torch from Tim Duncan to Paul, one Wake Forest Alum to another.
The Clippers other All-Star Blake Griffin had 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for Los Angeles for his second triple-double of the series. In this game Griffin performance was very much need to help this group get past Champs. Duncan had 27 points, and 11 rebounds leading the Spurs who also had four others in double figures.
Duncan said Paul’s shot was “just unbelievable. I know he was playing a little hurt, and he played through all that, found ways to get it done. I mean, just an unbelievable last shot over two of us. He’s just a great leader, and it was amazing to watch. I wish I wasn’t on the other end.”
There was also an emotional push throughout the game by the way of Matt Barnes who finished with 17 points, 3 from behind the arc, 2 steals and 2 blocks with his great defense. This was a series that was all about basketball, Coach Doc Rivers echoed that, “…no flagrant foul…clean, solid, beautiful basketball by both teams.”
The Clippers earned their stripes in this game and are one step closer to ‘LARRY’. There will be a quick turnaround to start the second round verse Houston Rockets who have been waiting for the winner of this battle. The Clippers will probably sit Paul when the they take the court in Houston on Monday May 4th.
Game 1 Monday in Houston, Game 2 Wednesday May 6th in Houston, Game 3 Friday May 8th in Los Angeles, & Game 4 Sunday May 10th.
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