Warriors bounce back from blowout with victory at Clippers
LOS ANGELES — The Golden State Warriors rebounded from their biggest loss of the season with a dominating shooting performance.
Klay Thompson scored 32 points, fellow Splash Brother Stephen Curry added 23 and the Warriors shot 51 percent in beating the Los Angeles Clippers 115-112 on Saturday night to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time this season.
"I was just proud of the way we responded from the jump, especially after letting (Portland’s) best player go for 50 last night," Thompson said. "We had to give some back. We were out to prove a point that last night was a fluke."
The Warriors were coming off a 32-point drubbing at Portland a night earlier that snapped their 11-game winning streak. They appeared highly motivated to erase that memory from the opening tip, shooting 56 percent in the first half and twice leading by 15 points in the second quarter.
"We can have a letdown night like last night, but we come back and refocus, and turn it on and find a way to get a win against a great team that’s been playing well the last 20 or so games," Curry said. "With the short turnaround, we didn’t want to have any excuses coming into tonight, and we got it done."
Draymond Green had his NBA-leading 11th triple-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to help the defending champions improve to 49-5.
Jamal Crawford scored 25 points off the bench, Chris Paul added 24 and DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 21 rebounds for the Clippers. They fell to 19-6 without injured Blake Griffin. Their two earlier losses to the Warriors were by a combined 11 points with Griffin in the lineup.
"They’re sort of becoming like San Antonio, they’re not going to beat themselves," said Paul, whose thigh bruise got him pulled with 8:09 remaining. "We had a few bad stretches. We know we have to be better and we will be."
The Clippers were coming off a 19-point win over San Antonio on Thursday night. Even with a day of rest, they played behind nearly the entire game.
"Tonight was a good response to a great challenge because the Clippers have been playing really well and they’re a great team," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "On the road, after a long flight, that’s a great win."
Pablo Prigioni’s 3-pointer off Wesley Johnson’s steal left the Clippers trailing 115-112 with five seconds to go, long after both teams’ best players had gone to the bench. That brought Thompson, Curry, Green and Harrison Barnes back in a hurry.
Andre Iguodala’s pass was stolen by C.J. Wilcox, but his desperation 3-pointer to tie fell well short of the basket as time expired.
The game was rarely as close as the final score.
The Clippers again trailed by 15 early in the third when they briefly matched the Warriors basket-for-basket during a furious scoring stretch to close within five on a dunk by Jordan off Crawford’s alley-oop pass. Jordan threw down some highlight dunks that had fans roaring and Crawford scored on a one-handed scoop shot, getting fouled as he crashed to the floor and making the free throw for the three-point play.
"It was a horrible offensive night that created a horrible defensive night," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "We were impatient. We wanted to win the game so badly we were in our own way."
The Warriors’ shooting percentage dipped — barely — to 50 percent in the third when Curry missed a few shots and got called for traveling. The Clippers’ defense couldn’t stifle them, either from the perimeter or inside. Curry hit a 3-pointer with Paul in his face, and Green caught an inbounds pass from Iguodala in traffic at the basket and scored.
Curry was fouled on a 3-pointer and made two of three before Green’s layup kept the Warriors ahead 93-84 going into the fourth.
Golden State went up 14 points early in the fourth on consecutive baskets by Barnes and later stretched it to 18 points on a 7-0 run that included Barnes’ second 3 of the quarter.
Warriors: Green had a technical in the first quarter. … The Warriors improved to 25-5 on the road. … C Andrew Bogot sat out with a strained right Achilles. … F James Michael McAdoo missed his 22nd straight game because of a sprained toe on his left foot. … After Curry got fouled on a 3-pointer and missed one of his free throws, a fan shouted, "Why don’t you make everything?"
Clippers: J.J. Redick, who finished with 16 points, and Paul each got technicals 67 seconds apart in the second quarter. … The Clippers signed F-C Alex Stepheson to a 10-day contract. The 28-year-old former USC player was averaging 15.9 points, 13.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 31 games for the Iowa Energy of the NBA’s D-League this season. Stepheson, who is 6-foot-10, has played overseas since failing to be drafted in 2011. "He has the gift of a being a big that plays with energy," Rivers said. … Rapper Kendrick Lamar was on hand in the same arena where he won five Grammys last Monday. Beyonce and Jay Z, Floyd Mayweather, comic Adam Sandler, Northern Trust Open third-round leader Bubba Watson, "Grease" actress Keke Palmer and former Clipper Baron Davis also attended.
GREEN VS JORDAN
With Bogut sidelined, Green started at center against Jordan, giving up four inches and 35 pounds to the Clippers’ big man.
"He gets up for every kind of matchup. You see the passion he plays with," Thompson said. "No matter who he’s guarding, he’s the most versatile defender I’ve ever seen. We packed in our defense and were able to switch a lot."
The Clippers controlled the boards, 49-39, but were outclassed in the paint (58-46) and on fast-break points (32-19).
Warriors: They continue a seven-game trip at Atlanta on Monday night.
Clippers: Host Phoenix on Monday night.
- Andre Iguodala
- Blake Griffin
- C.J. Wilcox
- Chris Paul
- DeAndre Jordan
- Draymond Green
- FOX Sports West
- Golden State Warriors
- Harrison Barnes
- Jamal Crawford
- James Michael McAdoo
- JJ Redick
- Klay Thompson
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Pablo Prigioni
- Stephen Curry