Sports Out West

NBA Playoffs 2013: California playoff teams recap after two games

Photo by Matthew Addie / Flickr

Aside from the No. 1 seed Oklahoma City Thunder versus the No. 8 seed Houston Rockets Western Conference matchup, every other matchup contains a team from California.

The Los Angeles Lakers, the No. 7 seed, are facing the No. 2 seed San Antonio Spurs. The winner of this matchup will face the winner between the No. 6 seed Golden State Warriors and the No. 3 seed Denver Nuggets. In the four versus five matchup, the Los Angeles Clippers have the home-court advantage over the Memphis Grizzlies.

As of Wednesday, April 24, every series has played two games. As each series moves to a new location, each California playoff team is in a different situation for their respective matchups.

Clippers 2, Grizzlies 0, series moving to Memphis for Game 3

The Clippers did what they needed to do by defending their home court and winning both games before heading to Memphis for Game 3. Currently featuring the most exciting game of the playoffs—the Clippers’ 93-91 thrilling victory due to a game-winner by Chris Paul—the Clippers have received great production off their bench by their dynamic guard backup duo of Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe. With physical play by the Memphis’ big men of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, the Clippers will legitimize their standing in the playoffs if they can clinch a victory on the road.

Warriors 1, Nuggets 1, series moving to Golden State for Game 3

One of two series tied at one a piece, the Warriors had an unlikely Game 2 victory after some experts predicted Game 1 would be their best chance for a road victory. With David Lee absent and Kenneth Faried returning in Game 2, the Warriors were led in scoring by Stephen Curry, Jarrett Jack, Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson. The control is now in Golden State’s hands to win in front of their passionate and hungry home crowd and put the pressure on Denver.

Lakers 0, Spurs 2, series moving to Los Angeles for Game 3

Although somewhat close in both matchups, the Lakers without Kobe Bryant could not handle the Spurs on the road. Now returning home, the Lakers might be able to scrape together a win, but they have been overmatched by a much deeper San Antonio team. The Lakers must continue to rely on the post play by Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard if they stand any chance against the Spurs.

Follow and interact with Austin Chang on Twitter @_austinchang.

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Austin Chang

Austin Chang is the Associate Editor of Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and RamsTalk. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.