Golden State Warriors Show Mettle in 23-Point Comeback Win


The Golden State Warriors won a thriller in Los Angeles against their biggest rivals on Thursday night. The Warriors came back from a 23-point deficit to win 124-117 against the Clippers, as their perfect run continues at 13-0.

Things certainly looked bleak in the first half, and any aspirations of the Warriors breaking the record for most consecutive wins to start the season seemed lost. The Clippers shot a scorching 71 percent from the field in the first quarter as the Warriors gave up a season-worst 41 points in a quarter. Chris Paul was unconscionable with 18 points on 7-7 for shooting and 4-4 from deep.

Just like their first meeting at Oracle Arena two weeks ago, Stephen Curry picked up two quick fouls in the first. If not for some aggressive play from Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes, the Warriors may have succumbed further in the second quarter. The Warriors were able to head into the first-half break with a manageable 14-point deficit.

Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors /

Golden State Warriors

For all Warriors fans, the second half was a joy to watch. Gradually, the Warriors chipped away at the lead with solid rebounding and defensive stops. Contributions also came from players deep on the bench. With the Warriors facing their toughest rivals and stiffest test of the season, they truly showed their championship pedigree.

Thompson put together his most complete game of the season. With Curry in foul trouble, Thompson shared defensive duties on Paul, and forced him into some tough shots in the second half. He also got to the line 12 times, and in one stretch forced Jamal Crawford into three fouls in the third. Crawford had been shooting well in J.J. Redick‘s absence, and the foul trouble disrupted his rhythm.

Harrison Barnes had himself a game as well, scoring eight quick points to start the fourth quarter while Curry was on the bench. His second three in the quarter closed the gap with the Clippers to just one. It was eerily similar to Barnes’ performance against the Clippers two weeks ago, when he scored ten straight points to jumpstart the comeback in that win.

Even backup point guard Ian Clark was able to put his stamp on the game. With both Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa out, Clark was called into action to close the third quarter. His penetration into the paint on the final possession of the third quarter led to Draymond Green‘s buzzer beating three, which put the Warriors just down six going into the final quarter.

In the middle of the third quarter, interim head coach Luke Walton reminded his team in the huddle that the game was there for the taking and would be won with multiple defensive stops. The Warriors’ length and ability to switch constantly on assignments were on perfect display during their comeback. The Clippers were stifled when they needed buckets desperately and their hot shooting from the first half was nowhere to be found during crunch time.

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As clutch and pretty as their shooting can be, it’s the Warriors ability to truly clamp down on defense when they absolutely need it that will scare their opposition the most. The Warriors outscored the Clippers 11-2 in the final two minutes. That fact will get lost after the Warriors shot 11-15 in the fourth, including 8-9 on three’s.

Perhaps the single greatest sign that the Warriors are focused on a repeat championship came in Curry’s post game interview. Curry acknowledged that despite his stat line, he needed to play much better. After two sloppy passes at half court committed by Curry in the final quarter, there was plenty to nitpick in his 40-point performance.

Next: Golden State Warriors Turning Skepticism Into Historical Optimism

Clearly, the Warriors are avoiding the championship hangover by rejecting complacency, whether it be an individual or team goal. They are confident, playing for each other and having fun while doing it. The season is still young, but so far the only team that can prevent them from reaching their goal of a repeat championship is themselves.