There’s somewhat of a pattern forming in the short-term rivalry between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors, and one of the aspects in it is Stephen Curry going absolutely wild from everywhere on the floor when he faces the team with the best record in the division.
The Clippers have a problem figuring out the Warriors, despite beating them by 26 points nearly two weeks ago. The Warriors have the season series at 3-1, including a win at the Staples center very early on in the season, before anyone thought these were the two teams that were going to dominate the division, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers far behind. While it was expected for the Clippers, no one really thought the Warriors would be this good while Andre Bogut was out.
Stephen Curry has been with Golden State since 2009, going through the exciting but unsuccessful period next to Monta Ellis. It seemed that using two dominant guards wasn’t the right way to go, and giving Curry front stage paid off for the Warriors – Curry is averaging 20.7 points per game this season, and finished with 28 points, including 6-8 from beyond the arc, as the Warriors ran away from the Clippers once again inside the ORACLE arena for a 106-99 win.
This wasn’t the first time Curry went wild against the Clippers; the former Davidson star scored 31 points, including the same 6-8 from three as the Warriors beat the Clippers by 21 points on January 2. This might mean something for the postseason, but taking a step back from the excitement of the win over the team that used to share the best record in the NBA, it’s unlikely the Warriors will finish above the Clippers in the standings.
As far as shooting the long ball, Stef is by far the best at his position. Playing with him on a regular basis I’ve got a better appreciation for him. When he’s able to get hot like he did, it serves our offense that much more.
Curry might not be the complete point guard in the classic definition of the position, but the Warriors have Jarrett Jack coming off the bench, having another big night, scoring 18 points and adding 10 assists, destroying the point guard tandem from the other end (Paul & Bledsoe), that combined for only 11 points and 4-12 from the field.
When Chris Paul is this bad, the Clippers don’t have much hope of winning, scoring only 4 points on his worst performance of the season. Blake Griffin did score 26 points, but Golden State can live with just Griffin fighting to keep the Clippers in the game. Jamal Crawford scored 24 points, but as we said before the game, the Clippers need two players to have big games from the bench, especially with Paul completely out of it.
It’s a special season for the Warriors, who have seen the playoffs only once in the last 18 years, in the 2006-2007 season, making it to the conference semifinal, also riding high on the ability of a point guard, although a very different one in his playing style. The Warriors are still a team based on guards and outside play, some thing never change. But the ability of David Lee on the boards and on offense (12 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists) and a lot of hot hands from the outside, especially Klay Thompson (18 points), the Warriors are close to finding the right mix that will make them more than just a fun team to watch, headed for an early playoff exit.