Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Warriors Blow Out Clippers in Surprising Fashion


The last time the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers met, the two teams engaged in a tight, physical battle that ended with the Warriors grinding out a 105-103 victory.

Everyone probably expected a similar outcome on Thursday night, but instead, we all got to see the Warriors rout the Clippers 111-92 at home, dominating the game from start to finish.

The Warriors (28-19) never trailed in the game, and there were plenty of positives to pick out of this one. Stephen Curry and David Lee both scored 22 points to lead the way. Andrew Bogut was an absolute monster both defensively and offensively in the paint, scoring 14 points, grabbing 17 rebounds, and blocking threes shots in 28 minutes.

Golden State led 32-21 after the first quarter, and pushed that lead to as high as 19 in the second quarter thanks to a rare superb performance by the bench unit, highlighted by a couple of dunks by Harrison Barnes. However, the Clippers (33-16) were able to winnow down the lead to 64-56 at halftime.

But the Warriors had no plans of relinquishing the lead. A 16-2 run to start the second half extended their lead to 80-58, which they maintained into the fourth quarter. Despite having a big lead, Mark Jackson did not take the starters out of the game until the 2:31 mark of the fourth, which is rather surprising considering they play tomorrow in Utah.

Nonetheless, it was a key victory for the Warriors, who did not want to have a 1-5 homestand. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to beat the Clippers and start making up some of the deficit in the division.

Tale of the Tape

Warriors

  • Field-goal percentage: 49.5% (45-91)
  • Three-point percentage: 28.6% (6-21)
  • Rebounds: 53
  • Assists: 24
  • Turnovers: 11
  • Bench points: 29
  • Points in paint: 66

Clippers

  • Field-goal percentage: 40.8% (31-76)
  • Three-point percentage: 33.3% (8-24)
  • Rebounds: 34
  • Assists: 17
  • Turnovers: 13
  • Bench points: 22
  • Points in paint: 22

Positives

There were quite a few positives to pick out of this game, which was a sharp contrast to the Warriors’ loss to the Wizards on Tuesday.

Let’s start with Stephen Curry, who had his ho-hum 22 points, but did so on 8-of-10 shooting and made all four of his three-point attempts. It was an extremely efficient outing for the All-Star guard, who also had seven assists and four rebounds.

The Warriors also dominated inside, with a 66-22 advantage in points in the paint.

But the biggest plus has to be the bench play. The Warriors’ bench actually outscored that of the Clippers, 29-22. The streaky Marreese Speights led the unit with 12 points, but it was Barnes’ performance that has to make himself feel good, Sure, he took took 13 shots and missed all of them but four, including 0-for-3 from distance, but it was also Barnes’ first double-digit performance in more than two weeks. He has been scuffling big-time as of late, averaging just 3.3 points on 24 percent shooting in his previous six games. Just seeing Barnes slash to the basket and scoring easily on dunks is a refreshing sight, and he did a lot of that tonight. Hopefully he carries this newfound confidence into Utah tomorrow and for the rest of the season.

Grain of Salt

Unfortunately, where there are positives, there are negatives.

Because the Clippers were playing the back end of a back-to-back and their fourth game in five nights, fatigue had to be a factor in their lackluster effort tonight. Plus, they were without Chris Paul, who is still out with a shoulder injury.

Also, consider this: the Warriors’ last two wins have come against teams playing the second game of a back-to-back, going back to their win over Portland on Monday. Otherwise, the losses this homestand have been to the Pacers, Timberwolves, and Wizards, and they should have had a 2-1 record against these teams. Instead, they will have to settle for an under-.500 (2-3) homestand, which they simply cannot afford in this tight Western Conference.

Good to Know

Quotable

Tweets of the Night

San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo took over the Warriors’ Twitter account during the second quarter. Here are a few of his tweets:

What’s on Tap

The Warriors are flying to Utah as to we speak to take on the Jazz tomorrow night, a game that can be seen nationally on ESPN.

Tags: Golden State Warriors