The Warriors kept it close. Sharp-shooting guard Stephen Curry gave Golden State a 70-69 lead late in the third quarter with a key three-pointer. But Jordan and company were too much. Jordan scored a career playoff high 25 points and also added 18 rebounds.
Midway through the fourth quarter, as Los Angeles padded its lead, the crowd erupted into a chant. “We are one,” the fans chanted, again, and again, and again. The Clippers embraced the phrase after Tuesday’s announcement – even overhauling the team’s website to reflect the statement – but it speaks to a larger theme, a multicultural game enduring a difficult chapter together. Races and colors and team identifications are immaterial in this case.
The game has undergone numerous transformations in the past century, from a YMCA creation using peach baskets to a city-centric expression, a blacktop ballet. The game has now gone global, with leagues and Olympic energy across the world.
Part of basketball’s appeal is its simplicity. All you need is a ball, a flat surface and a hoop to play.
That’s what the Clippers and Warriors did Tuesday night – they played. And hate didn’t win.