(NBA playoffs) Clippers stymie Warriors comeback

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Lou Williams hit a fadeaway jumper with 1:29 left and finished with 33 points and 10 assists, the Warriors uncharacteristically clanked shots much of the second half and could not make key stops, and the Los Angeles Clippers sent their first-round series back home with a 129-121 game 5 win over Golden State on Wednesday night.

No clinch celebration just yet for the two-time defending champions, who lead 3-2 but needed far more than Kevin Durant’s playoff career-high 45 points.

The Clippers stymied Golden State’s comeback effort on the very court at Oracle Arena where Los Angeles rallied from 31 points down in Game 2 for the largest comeback in NBA postseason history.

Game 6 is Friday back in Los Angeles.

Patrick Beverley took a big charge against Klay Thompson with 1:40 left and scored 17 points for his best outing of the series.

Houston and James Harden are on to the second round and waiting for another chance at the champs. The Clippers said not just yet, they’re not done.

Danilo Gallinari added 26 points and seven rebounds, and Montrezl Harrell had 24 points as the eighth-seeded Clippers are keeping things interesting until the end.

Durant made a four-point play to start the fourth and the Warriors had to rally much like the Clippers clawed back to overcome a 31-point deficit and steal Game 2 last week with the biggest comeback in NBA postseason history.

Durant raised his arm late and called on the Oracle Arena crowd for a major assist — the Warriors needed every little bit of help. Thompson’s 3 at 4:02 made it 116-114 and Durant tied it on a driving dunk the next time down.

Stephen Curry scored 24 points and Thompson 22 but Golden State didn’t have it on defense.

Durant shot 14 for 26 in his third performance of at least 30 points in the series and ninth 40-point postseason effort.

Curry, already the NBA’s career playoff leader for made 3-pointers, reached 400 postseason 3s.

Golden State trailed 71-63 at halftime despite making 10 of 16 3s but allowed Los Angeles to shoot 56 percent, and the Clippers finished at 54.1 percent.

Gallinari hit a 3 out of the break then a free throw following Draymond Green’s technical and Los Angeles made it 81-66 on JaMychal Green’s 3 at the 9:09 mark and the Warriors called timeout.-AP