Embarrassed in a 115-94 rout by the Warriors inOaklandWednesday, the Clippers had no intentions to have a repeat of that performance in front of their home fans atStaplesCenter. With crisp ball movement and great shooting from the opening tip, the Clippers lit up the scoreboard early and often Saturday night en route to a 115-89 stomping.
The win marked the Clippers 2nd straight in as many nights, improving their overall record now to 27-8, 4 games ahead of the Warriors (22-11) for the best mark in the Pacific division.
The Clippers came out with a huge statement in the first quarter, jumping out to a 35-12 lead on 65% shooting, while holding the hot-shooting Warriors to a dismal 4-22 field goals in that same quarter. Blake Griffin single-handedly outscored Golden State in the quarter, putting up 14 points with overpowering moves to the basket, while also collecting 3 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists.
After the Warriors went on an 11-2 run to open the 2nd quarter, cutting the deficit to 37-23 in the first two minutes, the Clippers recovered and closed the half out on a 30-20 run, taking a 67-43 lead into the locker room at halftime. Chris Paul opened the 3rd quarter on the attack, draining a barrage of 3 pointers to build the Clippers’ lead to as many as 40 and put the game out of reach by the end of the 3rd.
Chris Paul did not have to play in the 4th quarter, finishing the game with 27 points, on an astounding 10-12 shooting and 5-6 from deep, to go along with 5 rebounds and 9 assists in only 28 minutes of play.
Blake Griffin additionally recovered from his dismal outing Wednesday night with an incredibly efficient overall performance, finishing with 20 points on 8-12 shooting to go along with 5 rebounds and 7 assists in 30 minutes of play.
The Warriors struggled to get anything going offensively all night as a team, as many of their key players put up sub-par shooting performances from the field. Stephen Curry, who torched the Clippers for 31 points and 8 assists Wednesday night, finished with only 10 points and 5 assists, shooting only 4-11 from the field, including only 1-5 from 3-point range.
David Lee shot 3-10 for 10 points, and grabbed only 5 rebounds in 29 minutes of play. Jarrett Jack scored 8 points on 3-9 shooting. Klay Thompson was the most efficient Warrior of the night, putting up 14 points on 4-10 shooting.
Up next for the Warriors is a home match Monday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, who at 20-10 are only a ½ game behind the Warriors for 4th place in the Western Conference. The Warriors will be looking to bounce back from an earlier loss this season to the Grizzlies, yet this Warriors squad at this point in the season is surely much stronger than the one the Grizzlies met earlier this year.
The Clippers get a much-needed rest after tonight’s game, not playing again until Wednesday night against Dallas Mavericks, who just reinserted Dirk Nowitzki into the starting lineup earlier today. Tonight was the Clippers’ 4th game in 5 nights, a difficult stretch in which they finished 2-2. However, they closed out the stretch strong with big rivalry wins last night over the Lakers and of course, over the Warriors tonight. They will need to keep performing with the type of energy they displayed tonight to keep themselves positioned around the top of the Western Conference Standings.
- Ben Caplan (Cali Swag/All About Sports)