The title says it all. The Golden State Warriors are now officially the NBA’s most inconsistent team tonight. One night, they beat the Portland Trail Blazers, and the next night, they lose to the Washington Wizards. Thursday night, the Warriors were fortunate enough to find themselves victorious when facing their rival Los Angeles Clippers on national TV.
Whenever the Clippers start a streak, the Warriors seem to end it early..
— NBA (@NBA) January 31, 2014
The Warriors opened this game with a lot of intensity as well as some great defense. They started hot and stayed that way with a 15-4 lead early. The Clippers, behind some nice play from Blake Griffin, who finished with 27 points and 3 rebounds. He was shut out from the paint, but was hitting his jump-shot. Along with some 3-pointers, he and the Clippers were able to keep pace. They trailed the Warriors 32-21 at the end of the first. Stephen Curry scored 12 points in the first quarter but was scoreless in the second.
Continuing on their intensity from the first quarter, the Warriors came storming out of the gates, stayed aggressive, and scored in high numbers. They grew their lead to 15 and kept it there for a while. In the second part of this quarter, however, the Warriors began to go cold, defensively speaking, and the Clippers attacked, cutting the deficit to 7 at halftime.
I don’t know what Mark Jackson said to the Warriors at halftime, but he must have instilled the Warriors with confidence. In the third quarter, the Warriors exploded defensively and offensively, shutting the Clippers down and outscoring them 26-11 in the quarter. That’s right, you read that correctly. The Clippers scored just 11 points in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Clippers started hot, but in the end, it wasn’t enough as the Clippers were not able to make up a 20-point deficit. The Warriors were very efficient and did almost everything correctly.
A huge reason for the win tonight, aside from the stifling defense, was the brilliance of the bench. Harrison Barnes, who finished with 10 points, really seemed to break out of his slump as he showed confidence driving to the basket. Mo Speights also had a very impactful game with 12 points and 5 rebounds.
A recurring problem for the Warriors has been defensive and offensive inconsistency. Thursday night, they defended the Clippers while shooting the ball well. They also got two players off the bench that scored in double digits. That’s pretty rare for the Warriors.