Revisiting Game 32: Warriors Handle the Clippers Again

The Los Angeles Clippers, headed for a second straight blow-out loss in as many nights, cranked up the physicality. They swiped, pushed, smacked and clobbered, hoping to derail the Warriors.

It didn’t work.

MATT BARNES: “We just got beat from start to finish. The bottom line was they beat us to the punch tonight in every aspect.”

The Warriors (22-10) bucked back, beating the Clippers 115-94, displaying the resilience and confidence that has marked their season.

The Warriors’ much anticipated showdown with the Los Angeles Clippers proved to be the latest statement of Golden State’s legitimacy. The Warriors (22-10) handled one of the best teams in the NBA.

After winning 17 straight, Los Angeles left Oracle Arena with its second straight loss and just a 2.5 game lead over the Warriors in the Pacific Division standings.

The Warriors are now 7-1 when they hold opponents below 40 percent and 20-2 when they in the battle of the boards.

More on Wednesday’s victory …

MVP: David Curry

The Warriors’ two stars (who appeared together on SportsCenter last night) played like it when the Warriors needed them to. Curry had 25 of his 31 points in the first half, setting the table for the rest of the game. And once the Clippers’ defensive attention locked on him, Lee began to abuse the one-on-one coverage, putting up 24 points and 13 rebounds.

More than his scoring, though, Lee’s passing was vital. He was an excellent conduit for the Warriors offense, more than his seven assists even suggests.

JACKSON: “Maybe I’ll hold my own game if these two guys aren’t in there. Maybe that’s the answer. These two guys are All-Stars. Steph Curry played Chris Paul, and it looked like two of the best in the business going at it.”

MDP: Jarrett Jack

He came up with a couple of big shots, but that yanked his performance from the terrible category. He seemed too pumped at the outset and it showed in his play, surprising from such a seasoned vet. He was 4 of 12 shooting, 0 of 4 from 3 (which is too many shots for him if he’s not clicking) and his 5 assists were all but negated by his 4 turnovers. A rare stinker from Jack, though even on an off night like this he still helped the Warriors.

KEY MOMENT I: The Warriors trailed 7-6 after a layup by Clippers guard Willie Green with 9:50 left. Then Golden State went nuts.

The Warriors forced the Clippers to miss their next 11 shots over the next six minutes, leading to a 20-1 run.

Harrison Barnes started it with a 3-pointer. Then after a scurry that included two steals by Lee, Curry nailed a 20-footer. A couple minutes later, Thompson and Curry nailed back-to-back 3-pointers, putting the Warriors up 21-8.

Thompson capped the run with another 3-pointer, this one in transition, to give the Warriors a 26-8 lead with just over four minutes left in the first quarter.

JAMAL CRAWFORD: “It’s tough once you get down 15, 20 points. We started to get away from what we’ve been doing 20 games or so.”

YEAH, WHAT HE SAID: “I said it against Utah when (Paul) Millsap said we weren’t a physical team. The streets are lying. That was our old identity. We will embrace force and meet force with force. It does not mean we’re going to have great nights every night, but we’re not running for the hills.” — Mark Jackson

KEY MOMENT II: The Clippers had cut the Warriors’ big early lead and made it a game again. It was down to 35-31 early in the second quarter. Golden State’s lead was 48-43 after a Crawford layup with 4:32 left in the half. But the Warriors re-took control of the game with an end-of-half surge. And it was mostly Curry.

His 3-pointer put Golden Stateup 53-43. With Chris Paul playing especially pesky defense, Curry drove and dropped in a floater. After a stop, Curry took an inbounds pass and, with Paul riding his hip, he dribbled from just beyond halfcourt, to the opposite side of the lane, and lofted another runner while being shoved by Paul. It banked in, leading to Curry getting off about six punches to an invisible punching bag, and sending Oracle into a frenzy. His free throw put the Warriors up 13. They took a 62-49 lead into the locker room.

TELLING STAT: The Clippers shot 36.3 percent from the field, including 8 of 29 from three. YES, they took 29 3-pointers. Lob City, featuring an athletic frontline and a point guard who can usually get in the lane at will, had just 32 points in the paint on 37 attempts. The Warriors are a better rebounding team, but they dominated the boards (53-38) and kept the Clippers from hurting them on the offensive glass (11 offensive boards, 11 second-chance points).

VINNY DEL NEGRO: “We got outworked on the glass, no question. They killed us on the glass. We struggled to score. … We really struggled to score the basketball. They outworked us on the glass alone. But we didn’t shoot the ball well enough to put any pressure on them.”

SERIOUSLY?: The flopping by the Clippers was out of control. You got Jamal Crawford trying to get four-point plays, Chris Paul trying to draw a foul on every drive, and Blake being Blake.

Even when he wasn’t flopping, it was laying it on super thick. Festus Ezeli did grab his arm, and with Blake’s explosiveness that probably produces a nice yank. But Blake’s Cirque de Sole twirl just seemed over the top. It worked, though, landing a flagrant for Ezeli. Jackson didn’t agree.

JACKSON: “He’s a great actor. I’ve seen the Kia commercials.”

KEY MOMENT III: The Warriors made another end-of-quarter surge to really pull away from the Clippers.

They were ahead 72-62 with just over three minutes left in the third. To that point, the teams had combined for 23 points. But Golden State put together a 10-2 run, forcing its will on the weary Clippers.

Curry found Jack for a fast-break layup. Then after a stop, Landry converted a hook in the lane to push the lead back to 16. After a runner by Paul, Lee got Oracle to its feet by cutting for a two-hand dunk.

Clippers forward Lamar Odom then clobbered Jack coming off a screen, knocking Jack into the scorer’s table. Moments later, Lee drove to the basket and was hit hard in mid-air.

As he slid on his backside, Lee stared at Griffin and clapped emphatically. His two free throws sent the Warriors into the fourth quarter ahead 82-64.

JACKSON: “Let’s be fair, they played (Tuesday) night. We are a good basketball team and we were ready. When a good basketball team is sitting home and waiting for another team who worked the night before … you impose your will. We did a good job of fighting and getting a win.”

BEFORE YOU GO: Another productive night from Biedrins. He played 16:29 and finished with five rebounds, three blocks and an assist. He was active, physical and engaged. He’s playing so well,Jackson played him twice as much as he did starter Festus Ezeli. And Biedrins’ emergence is cutting into minutes from Draymond Green, who played just over seven minutes.Jackson used Green a lot in his small lineups.

Marcus Thompson

  • Dan

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Clips are the cheapest/dirtiest team in the league. I don’t see how Paul and Griffin haven’t been fined for flopping yet. And Marcus, here’s a question – does Paul’s signature move where when he’s dribbling and he grabs the defender’s arm with his free arm and makes it look like the defender grab him count as a flop? Anyway, always feels great to beat a team that takes so many cheap shots and flops so much.

  • Fan

    Maybe it’s time to start Biedrin over the rookie…

  • commish

    Forgetting about the flopping issue (although Blake’s 360 flip flop on Lee’s head after a love tap by Fetus to his arm was classic), what about Odom flagrantly taking Curry out of bounds with his elbows. I get really pissed at Jackson for his mild demeanor when it comes to showing any emotion with some of the horrific calls and non calls. I’d like him to get ejected by screaming his head off when something really bad happens to one of our players like Curry getting aggressively pushed out of bounds.

    On another matter, any word when Bogut is coming back or Rush will have surgery (I heard he hasn’t had it yet)? Thanks and HNY.

  • Pick -n- roll!

    Way to cover the Warriors, Marcus! I love these revisits!

  • Gunner

    Vote for Chris Paul for the All-Star Game to ensure Jeremy Lin doesn’t sneak in as a starter! This, along with winning, will give the best chance for the Dubs to be represented by both Lee and Steph in the All-Star Game through coaches’ selection!

    Paul currently has 650k votes and is leading Lin by ~46k votes!

  • deano

    MT: After every game, I look forward to your recaps. You provide an excellent synthesis of the key stats, stars and moments. As usual, you hit all the essentials of Wednesday’s victory.

    What is amazing me about this season’s Warriors, aside from the consistency of their rebounding, defense and ball-sharing, is that they beat good teams even when one or more of their key players is having an off night or an off period. Someonse else always seems to fill in the hole.

    Last night, Curry and Lee took turns dominating the first and second halves. Barnes and Biedrins played above their norms, off-setting Jack’s turnovers and poor shooting.

    In years past, GSW beat good teams only when everyone was hitting their shots. Not so now. The record is proof that this team is very well put together, and very well coached. Hallelujah.

  • D_inUC

    I am still looking for our “Rick Barry”. Someone who produces every game and will tell it like it is….Steph can, Klay can, but i want to see “it” every night.

  • Stan

    I was first on this board to say this was a special team.
    And the first-here- to call Joe Lacob “beloved”..lol,well I did.
    And Krueger’s rant over Monta? where he said Meyers and Lacobs son didn’t belong in the front office?..You mean Krueger is paid to be wrong all the time? Great job!..your the best at it Larry!

  • haastheman

    Great game against the Clippers. If you didn’t know, now you know. The warriors are for real. It’s ironic that this warrior team is winning because it’s tougher than it was last year, since it’s three toughest players from last year are gone (mcguire, rush, and monta), and two of it’s softest players from last year (curry and lee) are having all star years.

    Somehow Jack has turned in Chauncy Billups. Floor general, hard nosed, and big shot after big shot. This team reminds me of the pistons team that won with Billups too. Total team concept, no true superstar, defensive minded, and well coached.

    Also in contrast to past years, the warriors have benefited, as oppossed to being devasted by their injuries. The experience that Barnes, Green, and Ezeli are getting this year would not be possible if Rush, Bogut, and even Jefferson hadn’t missed the games they have and will this year. Harrison Barnes will be the next Grant Hill. Not the phoenix suns grant hill, the Pistons Grant Hill. If Bogut makes it back in time to establish a cohesiveness with the rest of the starters this team will be hard to beat with Ezeli coming off the bench. When healthy, this team might be too deep.

    Nice to see biedrens getting some minutes and looking somewhat productive. If bogut gets healthy by the trade deadline we may be able to move Biedrens, especially since we have Tyler as extra backup

  • Ewok

    What a game statement!

    We are now getting the notice of the league.. but notice is not enough… We need respect, recognition, and a re-birth from the past…

    To think the Clippers tried to play it rough.. and we overcame it with resilency.. we are now building character.. and soon enough, Warriors basketball will have its identity..

    Let me give a quick general statement, To continue this growth, we have to build on each other and build each other… The limitations of some key players are still evident.. Landry has a hard time moving around the paint when doubled often resulting to turn overs… Klay Thompson seems to settle for the trey but doesn’t see the “Sprewell” in him and so forth.. So the key is to continue the internal build up… especially on Green, Ezeli and Barnes…

    The team should take note, the league is watching and their scouts are assesing our teams weaknesses and strength.. I expect teams to continue to rough us, play us more physically, similar to how the Clippers worked us out the other day..

    Bogut and Rush should be proud. But they better realize they are part of the team and we need them on the floor..

    I also have to say that Jarret Jack is one smart player. He clearly reminds me of Mark Jackson during his heydays.. They play very similar, they play very unselfish and philosopically sound.

  • hmmmm

    7 guys on this team have never played an 82 game season, hope I’m wrong but there could be a wall that gets run into…Jackson had done a good job limiting their minutes so far…we’ll see

  • Niners in 2012

    You can stop worrying. We got Jack and Landry, starter type players backing up our two best players. The way they built this team, man Lacob and Myers are firkin brilliant.

  • Derek

    #2: I agree with you. Biedrens should probably be starting over over Ezeli. Biedrens offers better defense. He’s also a better rebounder and shot blocker. It appears Biedrens has decided to simply focus on doing wha the does best (D and rebounding) and it’s working. Conversely Ezeli needs to work on his hands, specifically catching the ball. His inability to catch negatively impact his ability to rebound and score.

    On another note, it appears Tyler can score. I’m not sure about his rebounding or defense due to the fact he never plays. However during his brief time on the floor he’s shown the ability and willingness to score. He’s very athletic, much more so than both Biedrens and Ezeli.