In what Chris Paul called perhaps the most important game of his life, the Clippers beat the Warriors, 113-103, mere hours after NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that Clippers owner Donald Sterling would be banned for life, fined $2.5 million and that the league would try to force him to sell the team following controversial comments in a leaked recording of Sterling imploring a woman previously assumed to be a mistress to not publicly associate with black people.
In fact, the game might not have even happened had Silver not acted so strongly as the Warriors intended to boycott the series starting tonight if Silver's punishment did not reach their approval.
But it did and it went off without a hitch as the crowd rallied around the players and against the owner.
The Clippers kept a balanced attack through the night, hitting at least two treys in each of the first three quarters while getting a strong offensive showing from DeAndre Jordan at the rim.
The Warriors didn't go down easy and made the defensive effort difficult on L.A., spreading their scoring attack among each of their starters. Each scored in double-figures, though Stephen Curry somehow only finished with 10 attempts yet had eight turnovers.
Despite each team landing blows with their starts both inside and out, the difference turned out to be made with the benches. Darren Collison had 15 points, including 11 in the first half, and Jamal Crawford dropped 19 points for the Clippers, many of which came in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Jermaine O'Neal led the way for the Warriors' bench with eight points. Also some dude named Nemanja Nedovic played at one point. All that was left was for Andrew Bogut to stand on the floor for a play or two and to give Ognjen Kuzmic some time and that would've been the whole roster, I think.
Though the Warriors gave L.A. a run at the lead, the Clippers' sheer elite talent proved to much to handle. Featuring incredible passes from Blake Griffin, as well as his great versatile scoring talents, Jamal Crawford's quick crossover and shooting prowess and DeAndre Jordan looming in the paint, the Clippers took care of business as the crowd chanted the team's new slogan created in the fallout of the Sterling scandal: "We Are One."
And they certainly played like it, taking a 3-2 series lead as the series shifts back to Oakland.