The defending champion Golden State Warriors suddenly finds themselves in a bit of trouble against the No. 8 seeded Los Angeles Clippers and now they will have to try to bounce back in Game 3 when they visit the Clippers at Staples Center on Thursday night.

The West’s top-ranked team somehow blew a 31-point lead in the third quarter and fell to the Clippers 135-131 in Game 2 on Monday night. It represents the largest playoff comeback in NBA history, topping when the 1989 Los Angeles Lakers came back from 29 points down vs. the Seattle Supersonics.

While that terrible loss was certainly bad enough, it doesn’t stop there — DeMarcus Cousins suffered what appeared to be a serious quad injury when he exited Game 2 after hustling for a loose ball. Early reports have it that he tore his quad, but an official MRI examination will take place on Tuesday to confirm the team’s fears.

Here’s everything you need to know about this first-round matchup between the Warriors and the Clippers.    

No. 1 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers 

How to watch Game 3

  • Date: Thursday, April 18
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Staples Center — Los Angeles, California
  • TV channel: TNT
  • Online streaming: FuboTV
  • Odds: N/A

TV listings

All games will air on ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBA TV during the postseason. Games on TNT and NBA TV can be streamed via fuboTV (Try it for free).

Playoff series schedule

All times Eastern    

  • Game 1: Warriors 121, Clippers 104 (Box Score)
  • Game 2: Clippers 135, Warriors 131 (Box Score)   
  • Game 3: Warriors at Clippers, Thursday, April 18, 10:30 p.m. — TV: TNT  
  • Game 4: Warriors at Clippers, Sunday, April 21, 3:30 p.m. — TV: ABC
  • Game 5*: Clippers at Warriors, Wednesday, April 24, TBD — TV: TBD
  • Game 6*: Warriors at Clippers, Friday, April 26, TBD — TV: TBD
  • Game 7*: Clippers at Warriors, Sunday, April 28, TBD — TV: TBD

*If necessary 

Odds and Analysis

Check Sportsline’s NBA pick sheet for all your daily odds.

Storylines

Clippers: The Clippers are one of the feel-good stories of the postseason, as not too many picked them to be there prior to the season’s start. They will have their hands full when it comes to the Warriors, but the matchup should provide the team with some solid experience regardless. 

Warriors: The Warriors enter the postseason as the heavy favorite to win their third consecutive title. The team was clearly coasting for large portions of the regular season, but now that the postseason is here, their focus and performance will likely elevate. 

Matchups to watch

1. Steve Kerr vs. Doc Rivers: Two of the game’s premier coaches will go head-to-head in this series. Both have had ample success in the postseason, and both know what to expect. Playoff basketball becomes much more of a chess match, as teams play each other multiple times in a row, and it will be interesting to see how these two counteract each other. 

2. Patrick Beverley vs. Steph Curry: Beverley likes to make things as difficult as possible for his opponents, and he will surely be tasked with trying to slow Curry at times throughout the series. A matchup between the league’s deadliest shooter and one of its most tenacious defenders promises to be exciting.

3. Draymond Green vs. His emotions: Green led the league with 16 technical fouls during the regular season, and his emotions have gotten the best of him in the postseason in the past. The Warriors won’t want to lose Green for a game due to suspension (we all remember what happened when that occurred in 2016), so he will have to try to keep himself in check. 

Series prediction, pick

Warriors in four: The Clippers have had a solid season, but it will end in short order against the Warriors. The Clippers simply don’t have the firepower to keep up with a focused Golden State team that boasts five All-Stars in their first five. The Warriors will likely use the first round series against the Clippers as a tune up to get ready for a potential big test against the Houston Rockets in the second round. 

2019 NBA Playoff Bracket

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