Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO, records an episode of the Numbers Geek podcast earlier today at his office in the Seattle region. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) With even more than normal, Steve Ballmer might not have seemed like an analytical guy to casual fans watching his LA Clippers come back from a 31-point deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of their first-round NBA playoff matchup earlier this week. It was the biggest comeback victory in NBA playoff history. But as listeners to , the former Microsoft CEO has a passion for numbers, as well. Earlier today, before recording a future episode of the show about the upcoming annual report on the U.S. government from Ballmer’s nonprofit civic data initiative , we took the opportunity to have him analyze the stats from the Clippers’ historic win. Listen to this short bonus episode below, or subscribe in your favorite podcast app, and continue reading for highlights from his comments, along with a copy of the box score from the game. “We were down 73-50 at halftime and we won 135-131, which tells you we outscored the opponent by 27 points in the second half, scoring over 40 points in (each of the final) two quarters, which is essentially unheard of,” Ballmer said. But “the thing that really flips is the shooting percentage” in the second half, he said. The Clippers shot 66.7 percent from the floor in the second half, and ended up shooting 56.5 percent for the game, vs. 53.3 percent for the Warriors. The Warriors “had a major rebound advantage at one point” earlier in the game, but by the end of the game, the Clippers were at 34 rebounds vs. the Warriors 38 rebounds, “which was a big deal,” Ballmer said. He added, “I would say the most important thing to take a look at, at the end of the game, was how many turnovers both teams had. Both teams had a lot of turnovers, 22 for the Warriors, 19 for us. I worry sometimes about us two ways. Turnovers and rebounding, sometimes offense, but mostly turnovers and rebounding. And we wound up pretty close to the Warriors on both sides. They had a couple more rebounds. And they also had a couple more turnovers, which means we both got about the same number of possessions. We just put the ball in the basket better.” Of course, this was just one game. The series resumes Thursday night at Staples Center in LA with the teams tied at one game apiece. Also check out , with audio from Ballmer on the baseline at Staples Center. We’ll be back soon with another episode of the show.
(Matt Hagen Photo / UW Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship) A team that wants to make batteries more environmentally friendly won $15,000 at a competition for environmental innovation at the University of Washington. MOtiF Materials invented a way to making batteries degrade less quickly over time. “If you can fix batteries, it has an impact on so many other clean energy technologies,” said , who founded MOtiF. Rasmussen, a doctoral student of mechanical engineering at the University of Washington, said the broader aim of the project is to make next-generation materials and manufacture them in a way that is scalable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly. She was drawn to the project as a way to use her mechanical engineering knowledge to create a process that helps the environment. “It’s something that everyone can get behind,” Rasmussen said. Specifically, she wants to find ways to synthesize a class of materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) at scale without damaging the planet. A recent Scientific American article , saying they “are poised to be the defining material of the 21st century.” Rasmussen is securing intellectual property for the technology and working on a paper manuscript based on her work. She’s received grant funding from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and financial support through a fellowship with the Clean Energy Institute. MOtiF does not have a website yet. The team also includes graduate students of mechanical engineering Stuart Moore and Courtney Otani, as well as undergraduate student Molly Foley. The winners for the were selected by more than 150 entrepreneurs, investors and environmental advocates. $10,000 2nd Place Prize: Atomo Coffee (Matt Hagen Photo / UW Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship) What’s coffee without the beans? For , it’s a better cup o’ joe. The startup, which is rethinking how coffee is made from molecular level using naturally sustainable ingredients. Atomo launched a in February and has raised more than $25,000 so far. and are the co-founders of Atomo. Kleitsch is a tech vet who once worked at Amazon and currently leads entrepreneur workshops at the University of Washington. The second-place prize was sponsored by Herbert B. Jones Foundation. $5,000 3rd Place Prize: Chibage Chip (Matt Hagen Photo / UW Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship) Biochemistry doctoral student Tamuka Chidyausiku invented a device called the Chibage Chip to help farmers detect when plants are thirsty. Chidyausiku is from Zimbabwe and wants farmers in developing nations to benefit from the device. In addition to winning the $5,000 third-place prize, which was sponsored by the Port of Seattle, Chibage Chip also won the $5,000 community impact prize. AeroSpec, which developed a way to monitor air pollution on a large scale, and NanoPrint, which is creating a zero-waste manufacturing process, both won $1,000 for the “Judges Also Really Liked” awards.