THE FACTS: Stephen Curry scored 16 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Golden State Warriors back from a seven-point deficit in the final period to a secure a 106-99, season-series-clinching victory against the Los Angeles Clippers Monday.
The Warriors (25-15) outscored the Clippers 33-19 in the final period to finish up 3-1 against Los Angeles (32-10), which came into the game tied with Oklahoma City for the league's best record. It was Golden State's third win in four games against the Clippers this season; and the Warriors are the only team to beat Los Angeles more than once this season.
Jarrett Jack recorded his third consecutive double-double for the first time in his eight-year NBA career, notching 18 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. With Jack manning the point in the fourth quarter, Curry was freed up to fire from the perimeter, and he drained all four 3-point shots in the period to cut short the Clippers' winning streak at four games.
Blake Griffin's 26-point, 13-rebound, eight-assist performance went by the boards as the Clippers allowed 11 fast break points in the fourth quarter to fuel Golden State's comeback.
QUOTABLE: "As far as shooting the long ball, Steph [Curry] is by far the best at his position. Playing with him on a regular basis, I've had a better appreciation for him as a player. . . . I didn't know how talented this kid was. It's really a joy to watch him mature and grow into the player he has become today."
-- Jarrett Jack
THE STAT: Curry was 9-for-14 from the floor, 6-for-8 on 3-point attempts, rebounding from a 5-for-17 night in New Orleans on Saturday when he came back from a one-game absence with a sprained right ankle. Curry has hit 53.7 percent of his treys this month as he continues to pull up his field-goal percentage after a cold start to the season.
TURNING POINT: The Warriors and Clippers have generated a budding rivalry this season, with both sides taking exception at various points to the antics of the opposition. Perhaps that's why Curry celebrated with such abandon when he curled around a down screen and popped out on the right wing to drain a 3-pointer with 1:26 left to give the Warriors a 99-95 lead. Curry reacted with a slow-motion gallop back down the court as the Clippers -- who never got back within a single bucket -- called timeout and the Oracle Arena crowd of 19,596, a 10th consecutive Warriors sellout, went nuts.
QUOTABLE II: "We're one of the top teams in the NBA, so I guess there's a target on our back, and we're in the [same] division. That's a young team that's improving, for sure, but we have our sights set on trying to play in June. I'm not saying they don't, but we're looking at bigger goals than celebrating everything."
-- Clippers guard Jamal Crawford
GOOD MOVE: It's become standard operating procedure for the Warriors when both players are healthy, but the success Golden State had in the fourth quarter Monday with Jack initiating the offense and Curry coming off screens showed exactly why coach Mark Jackson loves the pairing so much. Jack had 10 points and three assists in the period and Curry rubbed off his defenders with abandon, dropping three dimes of his own when the Clippers' defense did manage to run him off the 3-point line.
HOT: Crawford did his best to outduel Curry. He sparked a 12-0 run to end the third quarter with five of his 24 points on the day, although his miss on a 10-footer at the 1:46 mark represented the Clippers' last chance to take the lead.
NOT: Chris Paul, playing for just the second time after a three-game absence due to a bruised right kneecap, was clearly unable to bring his usual All-Star presence to bear on proceedings. He went 1-for-7 with for a season-low four points in 33 minutes. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Paul would be evaluated Tuesday in advance of L.A.'s top-of-the-standings showdown against Oklahoma City, with his minutes under close scrutiny even if he does play.
QUOTABLE III: "I'm just mad because I feel like we let a game get away. I didn't feel like I could do what I wanted to do. Me being out there probably hurt us more than it helped us, and I feel bad in that regard."
-- Chris Paul
NOTABLE: Warriors forward David Lee returned from a sprained left ankle to give the Warriors 12 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. It was his 25th double-double of the season. . . . The Clippers are now 27-2 when leading after three quarters. Both such losses are to the Warriors. But L.A. didn't put much stock into the notion that Golden State represents a bad potential playoff matchup or a budding rivalry. "Nah, it's cool. I'm not worried about it, by no means," Paul said. "I don't think about them too much, to tell you the truth. Let them do what they do."
UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Tuesday vs. Oklahoma City, Thursday @ Phoenix, Saturday @ Portland. For the Warriors, Wednesday vs. Oklahoma City, Friday @ Chicago, Saturday @ Milwaukee.