Warriors crush Clippers in much-needed win
ORACLE ARENA — The Warriors, sick of how they have been playing, came out with the will to win Thursday.
They needed to have a great game against a big team to make a statement, and did just that in a 111-92 victory over the rival Los Angeles Clippers.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said that he, along with the team, were upset with their recent level of effort and that this win was a good way to bounce back:
“What I liked about tonight was that we set the tone early and battled all night. That’s a pretty good basketball team with a lot of weapons and it was a quality win for us.”
With a 23-point lead heading into the final frame, the Warriors maintained their double-digit lead despite all efforts from their Pacific Division foe.
The starters finished their time on the floor with a reverse dunk from Andre Iguodala and a step-back three from Stephen Curry before letting the reserves play in garbage time. Golden State closed the night with six players scoring double-figures.
The Warriors came out strong on both ends of the floor. Andrew Bogut racked up three blocks in the first quarter, and an early 11-point lead came in large part from David Lee and Stephen Curry combining for 22 of the Warriors 32 first-quarter points.
Lee, who finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, said he’s been working on improving his defense and that coming away with a good performance on that end was great:
“I’m really happy we were able to come in here and play, especially defensively with that kind of effort. I wish we had it figured out to do it every single game, because that effort compared to last games effort wasn’t even on the same level.”
Questions about Harrison Barnes had lost his game faded away with the start of the second quarter. Barnes threw down two ferocious dunks within a minute of each other.
On the following possession, Jordan Crawford made good on a long three, putting Golden State on top 48-29.
But the Clippers did what they do best, cutting the Warriors’ lead to 10 points on a alley-oop pass from Darren Collison to the Lob City king, Blake Griffin.
Coming out of halftime with just a nine-point lead, the Warriors went on a 16-2 run that included a deep jumper from Bogut that would have been a three had his toe not been on the line.
Later in the third, after playing stellar defense and controlling the paint, Bogut committed his fifth foul, forcing Jackson to take him out.
But Marreese Speights came in and held his own, scoring four quick points to give the Warriors a 90-67 lead.
Bogut finished with 14 points, 17 rebounds and was said he was satisfied with the way he played. But after the victory he still had a bad taste in his mouth with how the team has performed against lesser teams:
“Its ok to win a huge game and we needed this win, but it doesn’t mean anything if we go tomorrow and don’t put in a good effort.”
Golden State closed out the game in perfect fashion, finishing their five-game home stand with a win and snapping the Clippers four-game winning streak.
The Warriors, now 28-19 overall, face the 16-29 Jazz in Utah Friday before returning home Tuesday to play the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Warriors improved to 2-1 over the Clippers this season, never trailing in the contest while sweeping their home slate over Los Angeles. … The Warriors scored a first half home-high 64 points and held the Clippers to 11 points in the third quarter, the lowest an opponent has scored on them in any quarter this season, as the Clippers set a franchise record with only one made field goal in the frame. … Golden State outscored Los Angeles by 44 points in the paint (66-22), tying a season-high with 66 points. … Stephen Curry totaled 22 points, seven assists and four rebounds, shooting 8-of-10 from the field and 4-of-4 from three for his eights consecutive game scoring 20-plus points. It’s the first time in his career he has scored 20 points while hitting at least 80 percent of his attempts. … Curry currently sits at 5,998 points for his career and with his next two points will become the 21st Warrior to reach 6,000 points.