Clippers’ Griffin, Paul confident vs. Spurs despite loss


Last night's game between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers was nothing short of a thriller.

Tim Duncan sealed the game by putting the Spurs up by two with an "and 1" play and leaving the Spurs' defense to do the work with 2.2 seconds left in the game.

The way the game ended, you could see the results from two perspectives.

From the San Antonio side, it was Duncan being clutch to help his team win with the basket over a few Clippers close to him. From a Los Angeles perspective, it's a bit different if you ask Blake Griffin after the game.

"We know we can play with them. We know we can beat them," said Griffin.

The Clippers know they can beat the Spurs. The series is tied after last night at 2-2 with L.A. winning the first two. This may have been a game they wanted to win to bring momentum to the playoffs in case they met the silver and black at some point.

With Manu Ginobili out with a tight hamstring during the game, this was their game for the taking. Instead of going in with momentum against a veteran lead team, they're going in with frustration.

After Duncan hit that game winner, Chris Paul lost his focus and team followed. When the foul was called on Duncan's shot, he argued to the refs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sportsthat Duncan traveled (which he didn't). Still complaining over it, he went with the same mindset on the offensive side of the floor and tried to draw a foul on Tony Parker by doing his best flopping job to draw a foul with no call.

This wasn't the end of it as the the whole Clippers went after a referee on the court and were still complaining about it in the locker room.

"It's not easy to let it go, but we'll keep it in the back of our minds. We should have won this game," said Paul.

The Los Angeles Clippers will remember this game and you can't blame them.

Paul and Griffin shot a combined 12-3 from the field and were just one defensive play away from winning the game. They most likely won't duplicate that performance if the two teams meet again, but the Spurs got an energetic boost from this game where it might not matter. The Spurs are a playoff tested team.

The younger core of Spurs are already looking to erase the memory of last year's playoff collapse and are now willing to play with a hard nosed mentality when the postseason rolls around. The Clippers showed they are the opposite of the story.

When the postseason comes around and fouls are harder while the refs let the teams play over blowing a whistle, Los Angeles may not be ready for the tough play ahead if they can't forget this game as one they got robbed.

The Clippers know they can beat the Spurs this season and they have, but the Spurs know they can beat the Clippers in the playoffs because they have.

They went to the Western Conference Finals and lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder after sweeping the Clippers and are going in determined, not confident, into the playoffs. That Spurs' mindset can't be shaken unlike the Clippers' confidence.

What do you think Spurs fans? Should be the Clippers be confident or discouraged with their loss to the Spurs?