Clippers Vs. Spurs, NBA Playoffs 2012 Game 3: LA, Blake Griffin Start Hot But San Antonio Cuts Into 24-Point Deficit

After not mounting much of a threat against the San Antonio Spurs through the first two games, the Los Angeles Clippers came out with guns blazing to start Game 3 at Staples Center. The Spurs were a model of efficiency on the offensive end in Games 1 and 2, but the Clippers were the ones putting on a show early on Saturday in a dramatic turn. The veteran Spurs, however, were undeterred and fought back over the final five minutes on a 15-5 run to put themselves well within striking distance. Los Angeles took a 53-43 lead into the locker room.

The Clippers exploded in the first quarter, going on a 26-4 run to end it with a 33-11 lead. Blake Griffin had perhaps the best quarter of basketball in his career, scoring 14 points in the first 12 minutes. Griffin was 10 of 13 from the floor and finished the half with 20 points and seven boards. He did not seem to be favoring the right shoulder that's bothered him this series. While Chris Paul hasn't poured it on quite like Griffin, as you might expect, he has facilitated much of the offense while racking up eight assists. As a team, the Clips shot 57.5 percent from the field.

The Spurs trailed by as many as 24 points in the second quarter, but slowly cut the the deficit to 7 as the half wound down. A Mo Williams three-pointer that rattled home pushed the lead back to double digits but both teams certainly entered the locker room with a distinct momentum switch from the end of the first quarter. Tony Parker leads San Antonio with 11 points while Tim Duncan has added eight and six in the the paint.

For more on the Spurs, be sure to visit Pounding the Rock. The best Clippers coverage on the web can be found at Clips Nation. And, if you're looking for news, analysis and everything else revolving around the NBA Playoffs, be sure to visit SB Nation's NBA page.

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