Warriors beat Clippers, tighten Pacific race
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors had a saying entering Wednesday’s showdown with the Los Angeles Clippers: Meet force with force.
And that they did, harassing Clippers bruisers Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan into a combined 3-for-14 shooting while also sending them to the line a total of 16 times in a 115-94 Warriors win that tightened up the Pacific Division standings.
“We know they’re a team that wants to impose its will on people,” Warriors forward David Lee said. “It’s important for us to do that, too.
“Tonight we were able to do that and get the upper hand.”
In doing so, the Warriors moved within 2 1/2 games of a team that went unbeaten in December and took a 17-game winning streak with them to Denver on Tuesday night. But the Clippers have now lost two in a row, including two straight to a surprising Golden State club that already owned a 114-110 win at the Staples Center in L.A. in the first week of the season.
Stephen Curry scored 25 of his game-high 31 points in the first half as the Warriors took advantage of a team that not only was physically gassed by Tuesday’s mile-high effort. The team also was suffering emotionally as well, having less than 24 hours earlier received word Scott Sterling, the 32-year-old son of team owner Donald, was found dead in his Malibu, Calif., home.
Four 3-pointers and a couple of hard fouls on Griffin and Jordan later, the Warriors found themselves with a commanding 26-8 lead and never trailed in the first-ever meeting between these franchises as first- and second-place teams in the same NBA division.
“Meet force with force. That was the game plan,” boasted Curry, who dominated rival and longtime pal Chris Paul to the tune of 25-4 in a sensational first-half performance. “We knew they had played (Tuesday night). We wanted to make sure we came out with aggressiveness.
“A 26-8 lead … that set the tone better than anything we’ve … [For more on Warriors push around Clippers, tighten Pacific Division race, click here.]