Clippers fall short in another disappointing loss to Warriors, 120-114

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The Warriors control the game in second half as the Clippers' woes continue in the second game of a back-to-back.

SAN FRANCISCO — After a great bounce back victory in Sacramento on Wednesday, the Clippers put forth another lackluster effort against Golden State on Thursday. Steph Curry controlled the scoring throughout and Klay Thompson turned back the clock in the second half to down a lackadaisical Clippers squad in the second night of a back-to-back.

 The Clippers are now 8-10 and 11th in the Western Conference.

Here are my three takeaways:

This team is an absolute rollercoaster. One night they look like they finally find their footing and the next they put forth a lethargic effort with bad rotations. This is the worst team play in this Paul George and Kawhi Leonard era so far. 

While there were some positives in the first quarter, it just seemed like the Clippers could never catch the Warriors, both figuratively and literally. It was clear who the younger team was, as the Warriors found a ton of exploitations and wide-open shots were more common than not. Even without Chris Paul, Andrew Wiggins, and Gary Payton II, the Warriors looked like the superior team. Even on the second night of a back-to-back, there is no excuse for the effort put out by this team.

I have been extremely negative over the past weeks due to the Clippers’ play, but I would like to bring some light to the good performances on Thursday night. Ivica Zubac, Russell Westbrook, and Kawhi Leonard stood out to me. Zubac had 18 points and 13 rebounds and was a +7 in his minutes, while Kawhi Leonard had 23 points on 9-17 shooting. Both guys played good defense, fought on the boards, and scored efficiently, which can be applauded in this current funk.

Russell Westbrook has won over the fans with his energy, bounce, and tenacity every game and every minute. I saw Westbrook jumping over forwards and centers to grab rebounds in the fourth quarter and even in garbage time down the stretch. What his fight shows is something special that Clipper fans haven’t really had since Patrick Beverly and I know they love Russell for that. Unfortunately Westbrook’s heart and energy isn’t rubbing off on a lot of his teammates and it shows in almost every loss.

One of the main reasons my writing becomes so negative at times is not due to a hate or vitriol towards players. It is more just frustration due to disappointment and underperformance on the team’s part. The people I feel bad for the most is the fans, and especially the long time fans of the Clippers. 

I have interacted with many fans, some long term and some new in my time at the games and on social media. There is just a certain mindset that the real fans carry now, and it is one of disgust and sadness as opposed to hope, joy and happiness. 

I truly just feel bad for the people that spend time and money on this team, because I know how badly they want to win a championship and how passionate Los Angeles Clipper fans are. Although there is a lot of basketball left to be played, a lot of the fans I talk to have already given up on this project of a season so far.

The Clippers head back home to take on this same Golden State Warriors squad. Tip-off is set for 12:30 PM PST Saturday.