The Golden State Warriors, still with the best record in the NBA, lose for a second consecutive game in the same arena, this time 100-86 to the Los Angeles Clippers, breaking away in the fourth quarter thanks to a big shooting performance from Jamal Crawford, while Chris Paul and Blake Griffin had wildly erratic and inaccurate performances.
Crawford scored 24 points, 12 of them coming in the fourth quarter. A sixth man for most of his career and a volume shooter that doesn’t do much else, the Clippers seem to rely on his scoring abilities a bit too much considering they have the likes of Paul and Griffin in their lineup. But Crawford is even more unique then them, at least in his finishing ability. Once he gets going, it’s very hard to cool him down, and all the defense and talent on the Warriors side simply couldn’t match up.
Unlike their shocking loss to the Lakers, the Warriors weren’t out of the game until the fourth quarter this time. Steve Kerr made a change to his lineup, going with offense and Marreese Speights, but that change didn’t really make much of a difference. With his players hitting just 6-of-28 of their 3-point attempts, resorting to their known M.O. once things were going a bit difficult for them. Curry and Klay Thompson shot a combined 3-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Chris Paul scored 22 points on 7-of-18 from the field, but maybe more importantly didn’t turn the ball over (just once) and didn’t mess up in the fourth quarter which tends to happen to him. Blake Griffin scored just 18 points to go with 15 rebounds and 6 assists. More importantly, he wasn’t baited into anything. Draymond Green complained after the game that his teammates were a bit too soft. He probably is the only one regretting that they’re not longer preached to play dirty by an excuse for a head coach who was fired for a good reason. David Lee tried to pick up the intensity, but his teammates didn’t follow.