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Preview: Warriors (51-31) at Clippers (57-25)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: May 03, 2014 10:30 PM EDT
  

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Doc Rivers couldn't begin the Los Angeles Clippers' only day of preparation for Game 7 in the film room or on the practice court.

The coach was downtown at the Clippers' team offices Friday, meeting with an angry roomful of ticket-sellers and marketers still outraged by owner Donald Sterling's racist comments.

'I'll say this much: Our players thought about not working. So did our employees, and they still felt that way,' Rivers said. 'They needed somebody to ask them to continue to work and support us. We're still trying to put this thing together.'

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For both the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors, basketball has been secondary for much of this extraordinary series. But after the most tumultuous week in Clippers history, the first round is finally down to its grand finale.

The Clippers will host a seventh game for the first time in franchise history on Saturday night, hoping to draw energy from their Staples Center crowd for a cathartic victory. The winner gets a second-round date with Oklahoma City or Memphis.

'We've got to protect home court,' Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said Friday. 'Our season is tomorrow.'

The Warriors have been just one obstacle faced by the Clippers, who endured sleepless nights and immense scrutiny while their owner was exposed and subsequently banned for life from the NBA between playoff games. Los Angeles has lost two of three games since the Sterling saga began, playing lifelessly in Game 4 before struggling along with the Warriors in Game 6 on Thursday night.

When the Clippers went back to work Friday, Sterling-related memorabilia had been removed from the trophy case in the hallway at their palatial $60 million training complex built by Sterling six years ago. Even the 'Sterling Drive' sign outside the Playa Vista facility had been taken down.

The Clippers missed their chance to wrap the series in Oakland, but the Pacific Division champions played all year for the chance to finish a series on their home court.

'It's going to be tough, and you're going to face adversity, and we clearly have faced adversity in this round,' said Blake Griffin, who managed just 17 points on 8-for-24 shooting in Game 6. 'I think it's just important that we all stayed the course and had positive thoughts about it. It is a Game 7, but it's still a playoff game. It doesn't change a whole lot.'

Neither team plans to spend much time working on tactics or adjustments after six games of seeing everything their opponent has to offer. Both teams aren't saying much about various nagging injuries, from Chris Paul's strained left hamstring for the Clippers to Jermaine O'Neal's bone bruise in his right kneecap for Golden State.

Instead, two relatively inexperienced playoff teams are eager to show off everything they've learned about perseverance and toughness over the past two weeks, culminating in a rare winner-take-all finish to their series.

'I'm not sure that both teams love each other, but I'm pretty positive that both teams have tremendous respect for each other,' Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.

The Clippers' core played a Game 7 two years ago, beating Memphis on the road for just their second playoff series victory since Sterling bought the team in 1981. Jordan and Griffin said there was little to draw from that victory, with Jordan barely remembering it.

The Warriors haven't played a Game 7 since 1977, no surprise for a franchise with just three playoff berths in the last 20 years.

O'Neal is questionable for Saturday, but Festus Ezeli could make his season debut after knee surgery for Golden State.

When asked if an injury could keep him out of Game 7, Paul scoffed.

'I'll be there,' Paul said. 'Seven-thirty, that ball's throwed up, I'll be there. Can't wait.'

Even with the Clippers on the front page during this series, Golden State has plenty of its own internal drama. Jackson could be coaching his final game for the Warriors after the club ownership's reluctance to publicly back his return despite the most successful two-year stretch in two decades.

Golden State was an underdog entering the series, but is one win away from a series victory despite its own struggles dealing with Sterling's impact on the entire NBA.

'I think we've had more controversy than them throughout this whole season that gets overlooked, kind of thrown under the rug a little bit,' Golden State's Andre Iguodala said. 'We've had some battles this year we've had to deal with, but it's kept us together and made us stronger.'

---

AP Sports Writer Antonio Gonzalez in Oakland, California, contributed to this report.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Warriors at Clippers
Sat, Apr 19 Final 109 to 105
 Recaps
GAME 2
Warriors at Clippers
Mon, Apr 21 Final 98 to 138
 Recaps
GAME 3
Clippers at Warriors
Thu, Apr 24 Final 98 to 96
 Recaps
GAME 4
Clippers at Warriors
Sun, Apr 27 Final 97 to 118
 Recaps
GAME 5
Warriors at Clippers
Tue, Apr 29 Final 103 to 113
 Recaps
GAME 6
Clippers at Warriors
Thu, May 1 Final 99 to 100
 Recaps
GAME 7
Warriors at Clippers
Sat, May 3 Final 121 to 126
 Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 GSW  +290   +7   207.5 
 LAC  -350   -7   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 GSW  +255   +6.5   207.5 
 LAC  -310   -6.5   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 GSW  70%   72%   76% 
 LAC  30%   28%   24% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 May 1, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 LAC 99 Under: 199 
 GSW 100 Cover: 1 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 29, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 GSW 103 Over: 216 
 LAC 113 Cover: 3 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 27, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 LAC 97 Over: 215 
 GSW 118 Cover: 22.5 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 24, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 LAC 98 Under: 194 
 GSW 96 Cover: 1 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 21, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 GSW 98 Over: 236 
 LAC 138 Cover: 32 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 19, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 GSW 109 Cover: 11.5 
 LAC 105 Over: 214 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 12, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 GSW 98 Under: 209 
 LAC 111 Cover: 6 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Jan 30, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 LAC 92 Under: 203 
 GSW 111 Cover: 13 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Dec 25, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 LAC 103 Cover: 1 
 GSW 105 Over: 208 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Oct 31, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 GSW 115 Over: 241 
 LAC 126 Cover: 5 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA PREVIEWS
 Saturday, May 3
 
    Hawks at Pacers
5:30 PM EDT
    Grizzlies at Thunder
8:10 PM EDT
    Warriors at Clippers
10:45 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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