In a game that neither team looked like they wanted to win, the Golden State Warriors finally sunk the decisive free-throws to come away with a 109-105 road win.
After taking the lead on a Harrison Barnes three, the Warriors and Clippers embarked on a bizarre final minute that included several turnovers, replay reviews and a lot of missed chances.
Both teams missed free throws that would have either sealed the game or tied it. Chris Paul, one of the most accurate foul shooters in the league, missed a pair that could have tied the game with less than 50 seconds to play.
Draymond Green also missed a pair to let the Clippers stay alive before yet another turnover – the Clippers second in the last sixty seconds. Paul lost one ball out of bounds – albeit he was probably fouled – before Darren Collison stepped on the sideline trying to chase down a missed Warrior free-throw.
Earlier in the night, Blake Griffin fouled out with just 14 points as the Warriors’ small-ball gameplan kept him busy defensively.
The two teams combined for a staggering 51 fouls, Andre Iguodala fouled out for the Warriors.
Steph Curry scored 14 points, though it was Jermaine O’Neal, stepping up in the place of the injured Andrew Bogut, who provided some necessary scoring.
O’Neal scored half of the Warrior bench’s 26 points, a crucial contribution considering the impact losing Bogut has on the Warriors defense.
Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson – 22 points, 7-20 FGS, 7 REB, 5 AST
David Lee – 20 points, 8-13 FGS, 13 REB
Jermaine O’Neal – 13 points, 6-9 FGS, 3 REB
Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul – 28 points, 10-23 FGS, 7 REB, 8 AST
J.J. Redick – 22 points, 8-11 FGS
Blake Griffin – 14 points, 6-13 FGS, 3 REB
Game 2: Monday, April 21st, 7:30pm ET (TNT)