OAKLAND -- The Warriors' first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers shifts to Oracle Arena for Game 3 on Thursday with Golden State searching for a way to slow Blake Griffin.
After the Clippers star fouled out of the Warriors' Game 1 victory, he returned with a dominant effort in Los Angeles' 40-point win in Game 2 on Monday. Griffin scored 14 points in the first quarter and finished with 35 points while missing only four of his 17 shot attempts.
He set the tone early and, in a stunning shift from the series opener, didn't pick up a foul in his 30 minutes of court time. His play helped the Clippers tie the series at 1-1 with Game 3 set for 7:30 p.m. in Oakland.
The Warriors understand Griffin won't be shut down -- he even scored 16 points in Game 1 despite being limited to 19 minutes -- but they have to find a way to limit his production.
"He's a guy that, outside of (Kevin) Durant and LeBron (James), he's right there in the MVP discussion with the type of year he had," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said of Griffin. "So this is nothing new. We've got to be better individually defending him, offering resistance."
Jackson and Warriors power forward David Lee played coy when asked if they would send double teams at Griffin.
"We'll see what happens with that," Lee said.
"We'll make adjustments and go from there," Jackson added. "We will not get reckless and try to stop one guy."
Guard Klay Thompson suggested double-teaming could be a good idea, but not if it leads to big nights for players such as Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford.
"It could be a good option," Thompson said. "At the same time, they've got so many perimeter shooters."
Lee, who has never been mistaken for an elite defender, put the onus on himself to play better against Griffin, who averaged a career high 24.1 points per game this season.
"I need to do a better job of not letting him get those easy buckets in transition, on the offensive glass and getting things out of the pick and roll," Lee said. "I think I did a pretty good job of that in Game 1 and in Game 2, he got a lot of those buckets and for that reason, it made him more comfortable in the game and it gave them all confidence."
Jackson refuses to let his team make excuses, but the absence of center Andrew Bogut and the help defense he could provide around the rim is huge.
"Without him it's tough, but we've still got guys who battle down there," Thompson said of Bogut.
Once known mostly for his high-flying dunks, Griffin's improved mid-range jumper this season makes him a more dangerous weapon.
"I think that's what separates him from the Blake Griffin of last year," Jackson said. "He's a guy that's put a lot of time in. He now makes you pay with his ability to shoot the basketball."
Lee remains confident that he and others, such as Draymond Green, can contain Griffin.
"He has become a better face-up player, but I think it's something I can contain along with the other guys that'll guard him," Lee said. "We did not do a good job of that in Game 2. I need to take that challenge to start Game 3."
A look at Clippers star Blake Griffin's stats in games 1 and 2:
Game Min Pts Reb Ast
1 19 16 3 3
2 30 35 6 1