The Warriors are out to prove that their now 22-10 start is far from a fluke. This brutal upcoming games against a slew of playoff teams will label them as contenders or pretenders. And as it stands, the former seems like a good label, especially after they blew out the mighty Clippers on Wednesday night. After winning 17 straight games, the Clips have lost two consecutive games while the Warriors have notched their own winning streak to four games.
It wasn’t much of a nail-bitter for the Warriors either. They won by a final tally of 115-94, and the Clippers never really had a firm grasping of a lead. There were only five lead changes, and seemingly everytime Los Angeles came within four points, the Warriors fired back with a show-stopping shot that terminated their run.
Stephen Curry scored 25 points in the first half for Golden State on 9-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range. Curry did slow down in the second half, scoring just six points, as the Clippers adjusted and constantly hounded him on the perimeter. He turned the ball over three times in the second half. Still, he turned in a nifty line, handing out eight assists and corralling in six rebounds.
When Curry struggled, David Lee picked up the offensive burden, however.
Lee, who leads the NBA in games where he scores 20-plus points and ten-plus rebounds, equaled his mean and also added some much needed distributing. The underrated power forward total 24 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists. It was his second half production, though, that propelled the Warriors. Lee compiled 18 of his 24 points in the final 24 minutes of the contest, and also collected nine of his 13 rebounds during the same span.
Los Angeles brought physicality in the second half. Things became a bit choppy when Festus Ezeli was tagged with a Flagrant 1 foul on Blake Griffin in the third quarter, and the physical play continued until the final buzzer.
Curry and Chris Paul were constantly tangled up, as both exchanged words continually. Still, the Warriors manhandled the Clippers on the glass, winning the rebounding battle 53 to 38 despite the strenuous size of DeAndre Jordan and Griffin.
The Warriors jumped out to an extremely hot start. They went on a 20 to one run before Paul finally ended their contented spirits with layup. Even so, the Clippers pulled with 11 after being down by as many as 18 in the first 12 minutes.
Clippers’ dominant sixth man Jamal Crawford brought his team right back into the game with 7:22 left in the second quarter. He drilled two straight three-pointers to pull LA within four, then made two free throws to make it a two-point game. Klay Thompson responded with a three-pointer of his own, but Crawford refused to take his step off the pedal. He scored 15 total points in the second quarter, but thanks to Curry’s emergence, the Warriors boasted a 13-point leading at halftime.
Defensively, the Warriors held the Clippers to a tune of 36.3 percent shooting, and an even worse 27.6 from beyond the arc. Golden State has now held their opponent to less than 40 percent shooting in four of their past six games.
The Warriors will get a short break before facing the Clippers again. This time, though, the duel will be in Los Angeles.