By Marcus Thompson
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 at 7:39 pm in Uncategorized.
Warriors point guard Stephen Curry scored 16 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter to lift Golden State over the Los Angeles Clippers, 106-99.
With the Warriors offense needing a boost, Curry got hot from 3-point range, knocking down four in the final period.
Golden State (25-15) wins the season series over the Clippers 3-1, which could possible have playoff implications. The Warriors are six games back of Los Angeles (32-10) in the Pacific Division.
Warriors forward David Lee returned to the lineup. He missed Saturday’s win at New Orleans with a sprained left ankle. Lee said it was still a bit tender but well enough for him to play.
When asked if the Clippers being in town had anything to do with it, Lee smiled.
LEE: “That thought hadn’t crossed my mind.”
Golden State (25-15) wins the season series over the Clippers 3-1, which could possible have playoff implications — though the Warriors are still six games back of Los Angeles (32-10) in the Pacific Division.
More on Monday’s win …
MVP: Stephen Curry
After a struggle of a third quarter, the Warriors were headed for defeat. And Curry came up with one of his most clutch performances this season. He was 4-for-4 in the fourth quarter, all threes, en route to 16 points. He also had three assists. With the All-Star ballots due, he couldn’t have had a better late-game showing.
JARRETT JACK: “When you start talking about elite point guards in this league, I think that’s one thing that really separates him from a lot of guys. You have guys like Chris Paul who’s unbelievable in the pick-and-roll. Rondo who’s tremendous at administrating the show, and as far as shooting the long ball. Steph is by far the best at his position. Playing with him on a regular basis, I’ve had a better appreciation for him as a player. My and my brother were just talking last night. Man, I didn’t know how talented this kid was. It’s really a joy to watch him mature and grow into the player he has become today.”
MDP: Andris Biedrins/Festus Ezeli
Monday was a game made for them. But the Warriors’ post defenders got torched by Blake Griffin. In 28 minutes combined, the two centers totaled four rebounds, six fouls and a block. With David Lee hampered, that was especially detrimental.
KEY MOMENT I: With the score 33-all at the end of the first quarter, Golden State’s reserves mounted a run. Draymond Green started it with a put back. Then Richard Jefferson ignited Oracle Arena by blocking a 3-pointer by Jamal Crawford (who made 3 straight outside shots to close the first quarter) and converting a three-point play on the ensuing fast-break.
After a pair of free throws by David Lee, Green put the Warriors up 43-33 with a 3-pointer set up by Jefferson. During that same 2:40 span, Golden State held the Clippers to 0 of 4 shooting with two turnovers.
TELLING STAT: In the fourth quarter, the Warriors shot 55.6 percent and the Clippers shot 37.5 percent. When it came down to it,GoldenState, specifically Curry and Jack, got buckets. The Clippers, playing with a gimpy Chris Paul, struggled to score. Blake, who had a monster game, had just four points on 2 of 5 shooting
YEAH, WHAT HE SAID: “That’s a young team improving for sure, but we have our sights set on playing in June. I’m not saying they don’t. But we’re looking at bigger goals than celebrating everything.” — Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers
KEY MOMENT II: The Warriors led 69-62 with 5:10 left in the third quarter after a fast-break dunk by Klay Thompson. The wheels then came off for the Warriors. They scored four points the rest of the quarter, thanks largely to 3 turnovers and four straight missed jumpers.
Meanwhile, the Clippers caught fire. Caron Butler and Crawford hit a pair of 3-pointers. Minutes later, Crawford and Bledsoe hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Clippers up five. The Warriors trailed 80-73 after three quarters.
SERIOUSLY?!: The rumblings in the Clippers locker room was that they don’t like the Warriors’ penchant for celebration. Of course, there was controversy last time when Blake Griffin clanked a 3-pointer off the side of the backboard.
Well, when Griffin pulled up for a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and airballed it, the bench jokingly retrained itself from mocking Griffin, which became a mockery all its own. And Curry didn’t help matters, galloping after clutch 3-pointers.
The Clippers say the Warriors have too many antics going on. Comes off as sour grapes, honestly. Los Angeles does as much chest-bumping and trash talking as the next team.
BEFORE YOU GO: Draymond Green was 3 for 4 on Monday, including two jumpers. He said he’s got J, just was struggling at first.