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(Saturday, May 3rd)
Final Score: LA Clippers 126, Golden State 121
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The outside distractions didn't matter to Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and the Clippers on Saturday, as Lob City was fully engaged down the stretch.
Griffin finished with 24 points, Jordan added 15 points with 18 rebounds and the duo provided a bevy of highlight reel plays in the waning moments to propel Los Angeles to a 126-121 win over the Golden State Warriors in the decisive Game 7 of this Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Chris Paul went for 22 points and 14 assists for Los Angeles, which was at the center of controversy all series after racially charged comments by owner Donald Sterling were released to the public. Sterling has since been banned from the NBA by commissioner Adam Silver and will be forced to sell the team.
Head coach Doc Rivers rallied the troops after dropping Game 6, and no one was more animated as the clock ticked down. He settled down after the game and had one simple message for his team.
"Let's get our rest. We start tomorrow."
The Clippers also got 22 points from Jamal Crawford and 20 from J.J. Redick. They will visit Oklahoma City on Monday in Game 1 of the semifinals.
"I've never been that excited," said Rivers. "I just wanted us to win the game. Our team needed this one. Our guys fought through adversity and found a way to win the game."
Steph Curry totaled 33 points and nine assists, and Draymond Green netted 24 points as Golden State's season came to a disappointing end.
"It's disappointing the way it ended," said Warriors head coach Mark Jackson. "We battled, we fought, we battled against a team we have a lot of respect for. I'm proud of my guys and the way we competed."
The Warriors became the first team to score 121 points and lose a Game 7 since 1966, when the Lakers lost 130-121 to the Hawks. The 247 combined points are the most in a Game 7 since 1971.
Jordan Crawford scored six points during an 8-0 Golden State surge early in the fourth quarter, making it 92-89 in favor of the road team.
Then, it was the Clippers' turn. Jamal Crawford worked his way to the free throw line for a pair, Matt Barnes drained a corner 3 and Griffin finished a finger roll in transition. With 8:14 remaining, LA led 98-94.
The see-saw fourth quarter continued, as Andre Iguodala banked in a desperation 3-pointer at 4:27 to catapult the Warriors back in front.
Paul then found Jordan for an alley-oop slam over David Lee. Curry's free throws put Golden State back in front, but Griffin scored the next four to make it 112-109 with less than two minutes to play. His slam in transition from Redick nearly took the roof off at Staples Center.
After an empty Golden State possession, Paul missed a floater but Jordan was there for the timely tip-slam. Griffin then followed up two more Curry foul shots with a circus shot in the paint.
The Warriors trailed by six with 30 seconds to play when Curry drew a foul on Paul shooting a triple and sank the three ensuing free throws. The Clippers put the ball in Griffin's hands to break the pressure, and the versatile former No. 1 pick took it the length of the court and lobbed for Jordan, whose alley-oop finish with 22.3 seconds left pushed the spread to 120-115.
Green rattled in a trey at the other end, but Redick made two free throws to make it a two-possession game and Curry's one-footed heave missed long to secure the outcome.
Green made all four of his shots for 10 points in the first quarter, as Golden State made 13-of-18 as a team and led 32-22 through one.
The Clippers trailed by as many as 12 but came back to tie it on Paul's runner late in the second quarter. They never led, however, until Redick's jumper from the left wing at 6:02 of the third.
The Clippers improved to 35-0 at home this season when leading after three quarters ... LA is now 2-1 in its last three Game 7s ... The Clippers outscored the Warriors 62-38 in the paint ... Golden State was playing in its first Game 7 since the 1977 Western Conference semis ... Curry hit a perfect 16-for-16 from the foul line.
05/04 02:58:22 ET