THE FACTS: Everything was stacked against the Clippers on Saturday night. They were coming off a hard-fought victory the night before against the Lakers, were missing their top reserve and had already lost to the well-rested Warriors twice this season. The difference, once again, was Chris Paul. He finished with 27 points in 29 minutes, handed out nine assists and even grabbed five rebounds, leading the Clippers to their most impressive victory of the season, a 115-89 blowout against Golden State at Staples Center Saturday night.
QUOTABLE: "A back-to-back, and I thought our energy was good throughout."
-- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro
THE STAT: After having their franchise-record 17-game winning streak snapped last week in Denver, the Clippers (27-8) won their 12th consecutive home game, setting another franchise record.
TURNING POINT: The Warriors (22-11) had been idle since beating the Clippers in Oakland on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Clippers needed to hold off the Lakers on Friday night in an epic clash. Advantage: Warriors? Not this time. Golden State missed 15 of its first 18 field-goal attempts as the Clippers blew out to a 23-6 lead. They stretched the advantage to 35-12 at the end of the quarter, the lowest-scoring opening quarter of the season for Golden State. The Warriors tried to make things interesting by scoring 11 of the first 13 points in the second quarter, but Paul checked back into the game and had seven points and an assist in L.A.'s own 11-2 run. It only got worse from there for the Warriors, who suffered their worst defeat of the season.
HOT: With super sub Jamal Crawford sidelined for a second consecutive game with a sore left foot, Paul made sure the Clippers didn't miss him again. A night after scoring a season-high 30 points and collecting 13 assists and six rebounds against the Lakers, Paul put up similar numbers in 13 less minutes. Another difference from the night before was Paul's shooting efficiency. After shooting 11-for-25 against the Lakers, he was 10-for-12 against Golden State, his best shooting percentage since joining the Clippers prior to last season and the most efficient of his career when taking more than seven shots. He was 5-for-6 from 3-point range, matching his career high for 3-pointers.
NOT: The two leading scorers for Golden State this season, David Lee and Stephen Curry, had played well against the Clippers in Golden State's two previous victories this season. Curry combined for 51 points in those games. Lee totaled 32 points and 25 rebounds and forced Clippers forward Blake Griffin into two subpar performances. But the pair was a big reason the Warriors got off to such a slow start, combining to miss all nine of their field-goal attempts in the opening quarter. Lee eventually finished with 10 points on 3-for-10 shooting, his first game under 17 points since netting 10 in a 24-point loss to the Lakers on Nov. 9. Curry had 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting.
GOOD MOVE: The Clippers turned the third quarter into Lob City. Paul banked a lob off the backboard on a 3-on-0 breakaway to a trailing DeAndre Jordan, who powered the basketball through the rim to extend L.A.'s lead to 36. Paul then set up Jordan for another lob on the next trip down the floor. Golden State called timeout and coach Mark Jackson spent the next 30 seconds staring down the Clippers bench, apparently not happy with the showboating. Del Negro did the wise thing and soon removed Paul, Griffin and Jordan, avoiding any retaliatory strikes by the Warriors.
QUOTABLE II: "Just a good old-fashioned heavyweight championship stare down."
BAD MOVE: The Clippers extended the lead to 39 points at the start of the fourth quarter and still had their top reserves on the floor, the ones who've created the second-highest scoring bench in the NBA this season. But they took it easy on Golden State in the closing minutes, allowing them to creep back within 27 points with 3:10 remaining. Del Negro called timeout out and reminded his players there was still time on the clock, but they were still outscored by two points the rest of the way, making the final score seem a lot closer than it was.
QUOTABLE II: "I don't particularly want to talk about the fourth quarter, but we just got the job done."
-- Vinny Del Negro
NOTABLE: The Clippers are 29-4 in their last 33 regular-season games at Staples Center, the second-best mark of any team since March 17, 2012. ... The Clippers are atop the Pacific Division at the latest point of the season in their franchise history. ... The Warriors fell to 10-2 this season against teams with winning records. ... Seven players scored in double figures for L.A., including a season-high 17 points for reserve guard Eric Bledsoe. Clippers starting guard Willie Green matched his season high with 11 points and produced season highs of four assists and three steals.
UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Wednesday vs. Dallas, Saturday vs. Orlando, Jan. 14 @ Memphis. For the Warriors, Wednesday vs. Memphis, Friday vs. Portland, Sunday @ Denver.