Apr 19, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) reacts to fouling out in the fourth quarter of game one during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. Warriors won 109-105. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers: Already In Trouble vs. Golden State Warriors?

Despite playing at home and beginning the game on a 12-1 run, the Los Angeles Clippers dropped their first-round series opener to the Golden State Warriors 109-105.

This was a stunning loss for the third-seeded Clips, who are heavy favorites in the series. It’s just one game in a seven-game series, but should Los Angeles already be worried?

Game Recap

Despite 28 points from Chris Paul and 22 from J.J. Redick, the Clippers found themselves fighting to overcome Blake Griffin‘s foul trouble all game.

“We made mistakes,” Griffin told ESPN.com. “Some of us, myself included, maybe wanted it too much and came in with an expectation. We just need to relax. I kept putting myself in a hole. I got to do a better job.”

Griffin collected 16 points and three rebounds before fouling out in just 19 minutes of play. Jamal Crawford, coming off an 18.6 point-per-game regular season, scored just nine points on 2-11 shooting in his 22 minutes off the bench.

For the Warriors, strong three-point shooting helped fuel a come-from-behind win.

Golden State finished the game 11-for-27 from deep, led by Klay Thompson‘s 22 points and four 3-pointers.

Key Moment

A 15-4 run by the Clippers in the fourth quarter to take a one-point lead looked like L.A. would be completing a comeback before Blake Griffin fouled out with 48.3 seconds to play.

The Clippers wouldn’t score for the remainder of the contest, eventually dropping the game 109-105.

Player of the Game

While the Warriors had five guys in double figures, David Lee had the best overall game. Lee scored 20 points for the W’s to go along with 13 rebounds and three assists. He finished 8-of-13 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in his 36 minutes of play.

Lee took advantage of Griffin’s absence from the game to post solid numbers both on the glass and in the scoring column. His strong play against Griffin on the defensive end helped as well.

“I tried to keep him from getting easy buckets in transition, which fuels him,” Lee told ESPN.com.

Looking Ahead

Game 2 should already be viewed as a must-win for the Clippers.

The Clips have been great this season while playing at home, going 34-7 at the Staples Center. On the road, they’ve been pretty average at 23-18.

With one more home game remaining before heading to Golden State for Game 3 and 4. Given their so-so record on the road, the Clippers need to win Game 2 or they’ll really be in trouble.

For now, L.A. just needs to relax and focus on coming back strong on Monday when they face the Warriors for a crucial second game.

Tags: 2014 NBA Playoffs Los Angeles Clippers

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