Clippers 107, Warriors 104
LOS ANGELES (AP)
Chris Kaman must have missed all that talk about the Los Angeles Clippers' seven-game losing streak. Even after a high-scoring, nail-biting victory over a division rival, Chris Kaman was only thinking ahead to his woebegone club's theoretically brighter future.
Kaman had 27 points and 10 rebounds, Steve Novak hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:46 to play, and the Clippers snapped their two-week skid with a 107-104 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.
This all-offense meeting between California's two perennial NBA also-rans wasn't decided until a 3-point attempt by Golden State's Anthony Tolliver banged off the back rim at the buzzer, but Kaman was among the Clippers who weren't particularly in a celebrating mood late in another lost season.
``I hadn't realized we were on a seven-game losing streak, honestly,'' the 7-foot center said after helping Los Angeles to a 55-39 rebounding edge. ``I hadn't even thought about it. We're just trying to finish strong and think ahead a little bit to the summer. I just keep looking ahead.''
That's when the Clippers will have a top-10 draft pick, a great deal of salary-cap room and forward Blake Griffin back from knee surgery. Sometimes the only thing keeping Kaman, Baron Davis and Eric Gordon going in another losing season is the possibility of what the Clippers could do with those opportunities.
``We'll see what they do with all that, but it could be pretty good,'' Kaman said hopefully.
Davis had 21 points, five rebounds and five assists before leaving early in the third quarter with a sprained right wrist. Rasual Butler and DeAndre Jordan then rallied the Clippers from a six-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter for just their second win in 11 games.
``It was good to get the monkey off our back,'' Clippers interim coach Kim Hughes said. ``We made a few mistakes in the first half. We left (Stephen) Curry open too many times in the corner ... but toward the middle of the third and the entire fourth, we were solid.''
With his seventh victory, Hughes is just 1,326 wins behind NBA career leader Don Nelson, who broke Lenny Wilkens' league record in the Warriors' last game.
Curry scored 29 points but didn't have a fourth-quarter field goal for the Warriors, who had won three of four. Curry hit five 3-pointers while Reggie Williams and Anthony Morrow had four apiece, but Golden State couldn't match Los Angeles on the boards or on defense, with the Clippers shooting better than 50 percent.
Williams scored 22 points and Morrow had 18 for the Warriors, who lost the finale of their four-game trip to drop to 7-33 away from Oakland. Curry had nine rebounds while Monta Ellis missed his seventh straight game with the flu, but the Warriors' dynamic rookie missed his only two shots in the final period, both 3-pointers.
``They doubled a lot of the ball screens to keep me away from it, but Anthony and Reggie stepped up,'' Curry said. ``I don't need to score to be effective. If I'm drawing defenders away so they can shoot jumpers, then I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. It just wasn't enough tonight.''
Butler scored 15 points and Steve Blake added 14 while starting in place of Gordon, who has a viral infection. Jordan had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Clippers, who opened a season-ending three-game homestand with just their fourth win in 23 games.
``The Clippers came up with the win, and they probably deserved it,'' Nelson said. ``They outrebounded us and outshot us, but still we were there, and we had a chance.''
Davis was in the midst of a standout game against his former Warriors teammates when he was injured less than three minutes into the second half. He scored 19 points in the first half and made eight of his first 11 shots before getting hurt.
The Warriors trailed for most of the first three quarters, never by more than nine points. Morrow's 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter put Golden State ahead during a 14-4 run, but Los Angeles rallied to take a one-point lead before the Warriors tied it at 98 on a free throw for Kaman's technical foul with 4:12 to play.
After Novak put the Clippers ahead with a 3-pointer in front of the Warriors' bench, Corey Maggette clanged a one-handed dunk off the back iron before Jordan dunked fiercely over Curry with 2:03 left.
Bobby Brown and Mardy Collins each missed one free throw in the final 18 seconds to keep the Warriors within three points, but Tolliver's desperate final 3 bounced high off the rim.
``It definitely felt good, but it was just a little long,'' Tolliver said.
NOTES: Clippers F Craig Smith didn't dress because of a sore lower back, and F Travis Outlaw sat out again with a strained right groin. ... Russell Turner is in the last few days of his job as an assistant coach with the Warriors before he leaves Oakland for southern California. He was named UC Irvine's coach earlier this week. ... Warriors G C.J. Watson missed his third straight game with bruised ribs.