Warriors will try to eliminate Los Angeles at home

              Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry stands on the court during the second half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday, April 21, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Warriors won 113-105. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Steve Kerr drove home from a stunning 35-point defeat at Oracle Arena one night last month and thought of something on the bright side: He can’t recall very many ugly losses during Golden State’s sensational five-year run.

This season has brought a handful of embarrassing performances in the final hurrah at Oracle, and the Los Angeles Clippers added to the list by rallying from a 31-point deficit in the second half to win Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

Now, the two-time defending NBA champions will try to eliminate the Clippers by winning Game 5 on Wednesday night in Oakland. James Harden and Houston lead Utah 3-1 and also will try to wrap up their first-round series at home — potentially setting up one of the most anticipated second-round postseason matchups between the Warriors and Rockets.

“Close-out games are always difficult,” Kerr said Tuesday. “Both teams at this point have a really good feel for one another, strategically what each one is trying to do. I think the Clippers are going to come out flying around. They have nothing to lose.”

This year, a three-peat is at stake. Golden State already has established itself as a dynasty by winning three of the last four titles.

The Clippers might have momentum from that last shocker at Oracle — the largest comeback in NBA postseason history.

“From the beginning of the season, playoffs, training camp, we’re self-motivated,” Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said. “It’s 3-1, that’s the obvious. Everyone knows that. But to us, we just have to win a game and go from there.”

Clippers coach Doc Rivers is offering a straightforward message going into this elimination game, just as he did before Game 4.

“Now we are down, and the only way we can come back is we have to win there,” he said.

Here is a look at the two games Wednesday:


Warriors lead 3-1, Game 5, 10:30 p.m. EDT, TNT

NEED TO KNOW: Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins, who tore his left quadriceps muscle in Game 2, is back with the team as he rehabs. He took part in the film session and will be around, but Kerr reiterated “at this point, conservatively, I would say it’s highly unlikely he would play” the remainder of the postseason.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Stephen Curry’s shot, and foul trouble contributing to taking him out of rhythm. Curry is eager to bounce back from an off night in Sunday’s Game 4. He went 3 for 14 and 1 of 9 on 3-pointers. “I just missed shots,” Curry said. “I still get frustrated but at the end of the day the pride you take in your game is really not about that per se as the little stuff you help your team win.”

INJURY WATCH: Warriors F Draymond Green had an MRI on his right wrist and all was clear. He practiced Tuesday. Green left after Game 4 with the wrist wrapped.

PRESSURE IS ON: Clippers defense to make things happen that lead to positive chances on the other end. Los Angeles defended well at home and must bring that same intensity to the Bay Area. “One thing I will say about our team is we will be ready. We’ll show up. I can guarantee you that,” Rivers said. “This team has never not done that.”