Los Angeles Clippers are no-shows in Game 3 loss at San Antonio

first_imgAnd so it went in an utterly disappointing 100-73 Spurs beatdown the Clippers simply decided they wanted no part of.What a waste.And what a predicament.The Clippers essentially handed the Spurs Game 2 in one of the more frustrating losses in franchise history.It was the kind of loss that kicks you in the stomach then rips out your heart. But that’s playoff basketball. Big boy sports. It’s supposed to hurt.Good teams come back from letdowns like that.But rather than turn exasperation into anger and anger into action, the Clippers wallowed in their misery, threw up their hands and hid in their rooms. They never showed up in Game 3, despite the Spurs practically sending gold-plated invitations to the party.And when it was obvious the Clippers were in no mood to fight, the Spurs threw a third-quarter right cross and knocked them out.“They put it to us all game,” Clippers point guard Chris Paul said. “We never recovered.”Now they head to Game 4 in the deafening, ominous house of the defending champions needing a win to avoid falling into the kind of deep hole they have no history of climbing out of.“We believe in ourselves and we know we have to come out on Sunday and fight like it’s our last game,” Clippers forward Matt Barnes said.Good luck with all that.Not once this series have the Spurs consistently played on top of their game.Yet is there any question who is in control?They looked vulnerable and wobbly for long stretches Friday, yet the Clippers never took advantage.Tony Parker is playing with a sore Achilles that knocked him out of Game 2 and limited him in Game 3.It barely matteredAfter playing spectacularly just 48 hours before, Tim Duncan operated on the edges Friday while scoring just four points.Yet by the end of the third quarter, the Spurs had a 21-point lead.Kawhi Leonard celebrated his Defensive Player of the Year award in front of his loud, adoring fans at AT&T Arena, then showed everyone he has the offensive dazzle to go with all that defensive swagger with a game-high 32 points.Of course, it’s easy when the other team goes through the motions like it’s a regular-season game on a back-to-back in the middle of December rather than a critically important playoff game. “We missed a few shots early, a few calls didn’t go our way, and I saw a collective head drop,” Barnes said. How did this happen?Why did it happen?Because all the Clippers’ fight, all their will, all their mettle took a stroll over to Riverwalk outside their downtown San Antonio hotel, jumped in and floated away.“We tried,” Paul argued. “We fought.”The scoreboard said otherwise.If you have any hope at all they can gather themselves after throwing their little pity party Friday, then Sunday can’t come fast enough so they can reassert themselves.But then, when have the Clippers ever shown they can climb the kind of steep mountain facing them in Game 4.The Spurs, one of the oldest teams in the league, aren’t exactly looking for reasons to make this a long series.Rest assured the Clippers will get the champ’s best shot Sunday.Can they respond?“We’ve got to show some resolve, come back ready to win a game,” Paul said.Said Barnes: “This is going to test our character — to get blown out on their court then come back on Sunday and see what we’re made of.”But after locking themselves in their rooms like a heartsick teenager Friday night, I’m not even sure they want to [email protected] @DailyNewsVinny on Twitter SAN ANTONIO >> Like that annoying kid from down the block who keeps showing up at all the wrong times, the San Antonio Spurs practically knocked down the Clippers’ door Friday night, begging them to come out and play .The Clippers just hid behind the curtains and pretended not to hear.All night long, the Spurs kept knocking and knocking and knocking, offering the Clippers chance after chance after chance to come join them in Game 3 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series.But the Clippers had neither the desire, the will nor the nerve to accept.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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