Tonight’s Clippers game marks the first time LA’s “other” basketball team takes to their homecourt without owner Donald Sterling in attendance. Sterling today received a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine by new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for alleged racist remarks released over the weekend. The subplots in tonight’s Clippers game are too numerous to mention. But let’s not forget it’s a live basketball game too — an important one — against the Golden State Warriors. If you’re not near a TV to see how LA’s fans respond, you can watch Warriors vs Clippers Game 5 live online using any number of services.
The pregame talk has been, and will continue to be, all about Silver’s ban, Sterling’s impropriety and the NBA’s collective reaction to both. In Game 4 of the Warriors – Clippers series, the first time LA played after Sterling’s remarks surfaced, the Clippers players considered sitting out but ultimately decided to wear their pre-game warmup shirts inside-out. The Heat echoed the gesture last night in a sign of support.
But while the Heat ended their warmup-swapped game with a victory, the Clippers lost Game 4 to the Warriors 118-97 on Sunday. Coach Doc Rivers canceled the Clippers’ practice yesterday, saying the team needed some time to process everything that had happened. If the Clippers don’t buckle down tonight at home, though, there’s a very real risk that what’ll “happen” is another loss and their season facing an unsatisfactory ending.
The Clippers playing tonight’s game at home in the Staples Center could be what the team needs to regain its playoff mindset. Sterling won’t be there, and if Warriors coach Mark Jackson has his way, neither will many fans. Jackson proposed earlier today that fans boycott Game 5. With distraction(s) gone and home fans certainly showing their vocal support, the LA Clippers could very well turn things around.
In Game 4, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry made a career playoff-high seven 3-pointers and scored 33 points to lead the Warriors to their series-tying victory. The All-Star guard made his first five treys en route to a 20-point lead for the Warriors in the first quarter alone. That lead held up almost the entire game, and the Warriors win snapped Golden State’s two-game losing streak.
The Warriors can be a streaky team, and they’ll be looking to carry their Game 4 momentum into tonight’s Game 5. They may need a little luck, though, primarily in the form of the Clippers continuing to be distracted by the Sterling Circus.
In Game 4 on Sunday, Golden State outshot Los Angeles 55.4% to 42.9% and had a series-low 15 turnovers compared to the Clippers’ 19 turnovers. With Chris Paul leading the Clippers’ charge, those turnovers are the exception, not the rule. Paul, Blake Griffin and the rest of the Clippers team will need to quickly regroup tonight in the Staples Center.
With the sideshow of Sterling’s lifetime ban, that may be hard. But once the opening tip for tonight’s Warriors – Clippers Game 5 gets things going at 10:30pm EST / 7:30pm PST, all attention will be back on the court, not off it. Doc Rivers, a players’ coach, has had his hands full for days managing player rotations as well as psyches. As soon as Game 5 tips off, though, it’s back to X’s and O’s.
If you can’t watch tonight’s Clippers game live on TNT, NBA fans who subscribe to that channel as part of their cable or satellite package can watch NBA games online free via TNT’s live-streaming TNT Overtime service. You can also download the TNT Watch Live app for your tablet or mobile device to watch tonight’s Warriors – Clippers game. In addition, the TNT website often has live streaming NBA games, and they’re likely to do the same in you’re looking to watch Warriors vs Clippers Game 5 live online. It’ll definitely be one to watch, even if just at the opening tip to see how the home crowd welcomes the Clippers back to the Staples Center.