Clippers hope to end Warriors’ hot streak at Staples Center
LOS ANGELES — The Warriors have feasted on the Los Angeles Clippers lately. On Thursday night, Golden State will try to do it again in another clash of the Pacific Division rivals at Staples Center.
The Warriors own eight straight wins over the Clippers, and they claimed the past four meetings at Staples. The Clippers haven’t defeated the Warriors since recording a 100-86 decision on Christmas Day in 2014. Since then, it’s been nothing but misery for Los Angeles.
In the most recent meeting, on Saturday, Golden State rolled to a 144-98 romp at Oracle Arena. It was the most points allowed by the Clippers this season.
Stephen Curry poured in 25 of his 43 points in the third quarter before sitting out the final period as the reserves finished the rout.
Golden State has an average margin of victory of more than 13 points in the past eight contests against Los Angeles. The Warriors are averaging 117.5 points per game and shooting 49.9 percent during that stretch.
The Warriors (42-7) have won 11 of their last 12 contests overall, and they are 8-1 against division opponents this season. They defeated the Charlotte Hornets 126-11 on Wednesday night at Oracle. Curry scored 39 points, hitting 11 of 15 from 3-point range, and Klay Thompson added 29. The two players combined to go 17 of 25 from beyond the arc.
Golden State attempted a franchise-record 48 3-point shots.
“I just want open shots. I never care how many threes we take,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr after it was brought to his attention that Golden State attempted the same number of 2-pointers as treys in the game. “I thought most of (the 3-point attempts) were good.”
The Warriors played without guard Shaun Livingston, who was a late scratch due to a back strain. Livingston, who was listed as doubtful for the Thursday game, was scheduled to fly with the club to Los Angeles and be re-examined.
The Clippers are coming off a 124-114 win over Suns in Phoenix on Tuesday. The contest capped a five-game road swing which the Clippers went 2-3.
Los Angeles (31-18) continues to play without point guard Chris Paul, who has missed six games since undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb on Jan. 18. Paul is not expected to return for another four to six weeks.
Without him, the Clippers are 2-4 in their last six games. Against Phoenix, Blake Griffin tied his season-high with 29 points in his third game since returning from knee surgery. Griffin’s solid performance was needed since the Clippers lost center DeAndre Jordan to a third-quarter ejection for a flagrant-2 foul.
“This is the best Blake we’ve seen (since his return) by far,” Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said. “He played in gears. He knew when to go, and he knew when not to go.”
Said Griffin, “I was proud how we stuck with it. With DJ going out and (Phoenix guard Eric Bledsoe) having a fantastic game, I was proud of the way we stayed with it and dug it out at the end.”
After the Warriors game, the Clippers head back on the road for five more games, beginning Sunday against the Boston Celtics.