Clippers face off against defending champion Spurs in first round of NBA Playoffs

BY foxsports • April 16, 2015

The Clippers will play the NBA defending champion San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

And what a first-round matchup as both teams are playing awfully well heading into the postseason. The No. 3-seed Clippers have won 14 of their final 15 games and have homecourt advantage. The Spurs earned the No. 6 seed for the postseason.

The series will start Sunday with Games 1 at Staples Center and Game 2 Wednesday in Los Angeles. The Clippers will play Game 3 Friday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio and Game 4 is Sunday in the best-of-seven series. 

If Games 5 is necessary that is April 28 at Staples Center and Game 7 would be May 2 at Staples Center. 

The Spurs have won 11 of their last 12 games, losing to New Orleans 108-103 on Wednesday. The Pelicans had to win Wednesday in order to make the playoffs, and they did, ending the Spurs' 11-game win streak. 

When Doc Rivers was asked Monday -- when the Clippers still had five possible playoff opponents -- if it mattered who the Clippers drew in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, Rivers said: "I don't think most teams care. I've talked to a couple coaches that are friends that are in the playoffs and they've said, and it's like a tape recorder, 'Does it matter?' It's going to be a hard series.

"I'm sure a couple of teams probably would rather play a couple of other teams without me looking or noticing. At the end of the day even when you get those teams, they're going to be hard.  There's nobody that's not good in the West. You're going to have a hard series."

And that's exactly what the Clippers and San Antonio are expected to have, a tough series. If the series goes seven games, the Clippers, however, have home-court advantage and that game would be in Los Angeles. 

The Clippers and Spurs split the season series at two, with the Spurs winning the two early games and the Clippers winning the last two meetings in February and March. 

Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan & Co. will battle Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Co. for the right to advance to the Western Conference semifinals. 

As the No. 6 seed, San Antonio has a tough road ahead as only one 6 seed has ever gone on to win the NBA title. 

The Clippers' regular season ended on Tuesday with a win over Phoenix, so Clippers players and coaches were scheduled to get together to have dinner and watch games to learn their fate that they would play San Antonio. When the day started, they had a chance to play one of four teams - San Antonio, Memphis, Dallas or Houston.

And now, they know they're playing the defending NBA champions.



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