Clippers-Warriors Preview

The Los Angeles Clippers lost four of their first seven games

without starter J.J. Redick after the shooting guard was hurt Nov.

29.

While Redick remains out with a broken right hand and a torn

ligament in his wrist, the Clippers have turned it around with five

straight victories since moving veteran sixth man Jamal Crawford

into the starting lineup.

The Clippers will look to extend their season-best streak and

win for the third straight year on Christmas Day when they visit

the Golden State Warriors.

Crawford has averaged 20.0 points since joining the pregame

introductions, including 22 in a 120-116 overtime home win over

Minnesota on Sunday.

His dunk after a Chris Paul steal in the final 10 seconds of

regulation sent the game to overtime after the Clippers trailed by

four with 18 seconds remaining.

“I kept saying, ‘It’s not over, there’s plenty of time, it’s not

over, there’s plenty of time,'” Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said.

“I give them credit, they hung in there.”

Crawford hasn’t been hesitant with his shot, making 19 of 39 in

the last two games, including a 10-for-22 mark from 3-point

range.

Blake Griffin led the way against the Timberwolves with 32

points and 10 rebounds, while Paul had an off shooting night (6 of

19) but still added 19 points and 13 assists.

“The biggest thing we learned as a team from Doc is, even in

practice, he talks about ‘The game is not over,'” Paul said. “When

we got down three or four there with seconds left, we could’ve said

we lost this one. But we fought hard.”

The Clippers (20-9) are averaging 113.6 points during the win

streak, and the previous four have all come by 13 or more.

The Warriors (16-13) got it done in a different way Monday in

Denver. Their 89-81 win over the Nuggets was their first while

scoring under 95 points this season.

“It tells you how good we can be because there is no question

about our guys’ ability to score and shoot the basketball,” Golden

State coach Mark Jackson said.

“The thing that can remain constant for us is our ability to

defend and defend at a high level. That is what is going to win

ball games for us. When our guys do establish a rhythm, it is going

to be awfully pretty.”

David Lee, who scored 28 and had 10 rebounds, is averaging 21.4

points and 12.3 boards during a nine-game streak of double-doubles

that began Dec. 7.

“I think the last 10 games or so I’ve tried to be really

aggressive, especially to start games, to attack the rim,” Lee

said. “Tonight was no exception.”

Golden State, seeking its third straight win overall, would like

to get back on track at home. After winning their first five at

home, the Warriors have gone 4-4 since Nov. 20.

Los Angeles kicked off its season series against Golden State

with a 126-115 home win on Halloween. Paul scored a season-high 42

in a battle with Stephen Curry, who had 38.

Golden State won three of four in last season’s series.

A year ago, the Clippers’ victory over Denver on Christmas Day

was their 14th in a row during a franchise-best 17-game winning

streak.