FINAL | January 5, 2013 | STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA 













Eric Patten

LOS ANGELES–How’s that for turning the tables?

After suffering their worst defeat of the season four days ago at Golden State, the Clippers dismantled the Warriors at Staples Center, 115-89, setting a franchise record with their 12th consecutive victory at home.  

It was also the 19th win in their last 21 games overall.

Blake Griffin was sensational, Chris Paul nearly perfect from the field and seven Clippers scored in double-figures. In some ways the Clippers (27-8) mimicked the Warriors’ 21-point victory Wednesday. They bludgeoned Golden State (22-11) with a 13-0 run in the opening minutes and cruised to an easy within the Pacific Division.

The difference between Wednesday and Saturday: the Clippers never relented.

They led by 23 at the end of the first period, which saw Griffin score 14 of his 20 points. Paul scored 27 points, going 10-for-12 from the field and 5-of-6 from 3-point range. He connected with DeAndre Jordan on three alley-oops in succession in the third quarter, including a pass off the backboard on a fast break and a lob from about 40 feet away as Jordan cut along the baseline that somewhat epitomized the entire evening.

Paul finished with nine assists and Jordan with 13 points and eight rebounds. 

The lead ballooned to as large as 39 points in the third quarter. For the Clippers, the game was not only a triumphant response to a Warriors team who had defeated them twice already, including a 114-110 at Staples Center Nov. 3, but also a reminder why they are widely considered among a small group of championship favorites.

The Clippers won without star reserve Jamal Crawford, who missed his second game in a row with a sore left foot, and did it the night after an emotional win over the Lakers that concluded a stretch of four games in five days.

“[The Warriors] beat us twice,” Paul said when asked where the team’s energy came from after one of its toughest weeks of the season so far. “The first time they beat us here you’d have thought they won the NBA Finals. Then they beat us there pretty bad, pretty handily. We knew that we wanted to protect our home court and it’s a division game.”

Moment of Truth: Pick a moment. While the game was not the most decisive victory of the season for the Clippers (they beat Sacramento by 35 on Dec. 1), it was perhaps the most emphatic. Jordan’s third alley-oop from Paul with 4:27 left in the third quarter put the Clippers up by 38 and drew the ire of Warriors head coach Mark Jackson who quickly called timeout and glared at the Clippers’ bench. It could have been Jordan’s dunk, or Paul’s series of 3-point makes in his 16-point third quarter, or patience doling out seven assists, including three in the first quarter, or Eric Bledsoe’s rejection of Jarrett Jack from behind at the halftime buzzer.

For Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro, it was likely the way the Clippers opened the game. “We had great energy from the beginning. I was really, really happy with our first quarter. Our starters got off to a great start. Blake was very aggressive and obviously Chris was throughout.”

Difference Maker: Griffin. The Clippers got off to a 35-12 first quarter, complete with an array of Griffin’s best. He was overpowering in the post, drawing four fouls combined on Andris Biedrins and Carl Landry. He had 14 points, shooting jump hooks with either hand, canning a bank shot on the baseline after Landry’s second foul of the period, and dished out three assists. He twice found Willie Green, who played a season-high 38 minutes, for layups on double-teams and dished one to Jordan after a swift entry pass by Paul.

Stat Line of the Night: Paul went 10-for-12 (83.3%), the best shooting game of his career when he took more than seven shots, and scored a game-high 27 points with nine assists and five rebounds. He has 57 points in the last two games for the Clippers.

More Stats: 

Bledsoe. He scored a season-high 17 points and bounced back from an unusual stretch of low production in which he where he was limited to four points or fewer in four of the previous six games. He was energetic, as is typical, but also made plays for his teammates, finishing with three assists and three rebounds (two offensive).

Jordan. His fourth game in double-digit scoring in the last six was more like a dunk fest. Five of his six field goals came at the rim, including four alley-oops. Jordan finished with 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting and collected a game-high eight rebounds.

Hot: The Clippers in the first quarter. L.A. turned the tables from their previous game with the Warriors in Oakland, running out to a 23-point lead in the opening quarter and shooting 65.2%. Griffin was the driving force behind the start, scoring 14 points and missing just one shot (6-of-7).

Not: The Warriors in the first quarter. The Warriors, who had spent an extra two days in Los Angeles prior to the game, were 4-for-22 in the period (0-for-7 from 3-point range). Only Harrison Barnes scored more than two points as the Clippers held to a dozen points. Golden State’s paltry effort was second to the Boston Celtics as the worst shooting performance on the season by a Clippers’ opponent.

“We a difficult time as far as knocking down shots which definitely is not the norm for us,” Jack said. “We dug ourselves a hole early.”


On losing to the Clippers four days after beating them in Oakland:

Mark Jackson: “We knew that Wednesday was fresh on their mind. We knew they were going to come out and go after us and we did not respond tonight. We don’t accept it, but we will own it. They were the better team tonight, clearly.”

On playing without Jamal Crawford:

Barnes: “He’s obviously our scorer, but we have a very deep team and it’s given other people an opportunity to get extended minutes. Willie’s got a chance to play a little bit more. I’ve got a chance to play more. [Bledsoe] played a lot in the first half, so it’s just giving other guys opportunities and keeping everybody ready.”

On mentality of Clippers entering game:

Griffin: “It was a business win for us, a business trip. This is how we want to win games and we wanted to take care of it early and that’s what we did.”

Notes: Paul’s five 3-pointers matched a career high… Willie Green matched his season high with 11 points… The Clippers out-rebounded the Warriors, 41-30… The Clippers scored 30 or more points in three quarters and came within a point of matching their season high with 67 points in the first half… They are 21-1 when they lead after the first quarter… The 26-point defeat was the worst of the season for Golden State… The Warriors committed 16 turnovers, leading to 23 Clippers points. “Causing turnovers was huge for us,” Jordan said. “We know what type of team they are and how they like to play and we just wanted to be as aggressive as possible on the defensive end.”


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