“We’re just on paper and not really finishing the game,” Morris said Saturday. There is no exaggeration twice.
“[But] I think it’s just as good for us as we are and just leaning on it and just talent and not finishing or hard work. ”
The Clippers enter Sunday’s Game 6 knowing that they gave life to the Nuggets, who went on to become just the 12th team in NBA history in the final round to lose 3–1 and win the series. With 16 late in the second quarter and 13 minutes left the Clippers only 13 minutes left in the game. Denver ended the run out scoring 35-14.
According to ESPN Stats and Information Research, for the Clippers, it was the sixth time this season that they had lost a game after leading by 15 or more, tied for most in the NBA this regular season and postseason.
“We hurt ourselves,” Morris said. “We should have kept that game away, clinging to what we were doing. It’s been one of our Achilles’ heels, messing with the game when we get up. The place to get to. We are trying. And as champions, we should be better. It has nothing to do with coaching.
“[Paul George] Best said it: We had that game under control, we had them exactly where we wanted them, and we removed our foot from the gas. … We all know our abilities and we have to stay away from the script and complete our business. ”
But as the Clippers drifted away from their game plan, Denver started taking shots and feeling confident and the Clippers made it to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in French conference history.
“I was disappointed because I really thought we should have gone more,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “And we had the game where we wouldn’t let ourselves become great tomorrow. We have to allow ourselves to be great, and to do that you have to have great discipline.”
Clippers will need more production than what they got in Game 5 off their bench. Rivers’ team takes home the game’s strongest second unit, awarded by the last two sixth Man of the Year award winners, Montreal Hurl and Lou Williams. But the Clippers’ bench was outscored from Denver’s reserves 29-16 in Friday’s game.
Williams shot just 2-for-10 and finished with four points. Harel had six points and three rebounds in 15 minutes. After a month off the court to mourn the loss of his grandmother, Harel is averaging 10.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 18 minutes per game.
The Clippers knew it might take some time for Harrell, who averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds this season, to find his rhythm after so much time.
“He’s just gone up and down,” Rivers said. “His role is what it is. It’s always been up, give us energy, score. So I think this is a series in which he can play a little bit more, but [Nikola] Joke with is hard [Ivica Zubac], Which is difficult to jog trek. He is just a player’s hell. I am not going to put too much stock in it. ”
Nothing, Rivers says, that he is able to get his players the way they are able to do so and maintain that level against an opponent that he knows it can succeed in elimination games.
“We get a variety of leads and then we start changing our cover, talking about it,” Rivers said. “All the teams left in the bubble, it’s the team that will hurt you the most when you do that. And we have great evidence.”