The Warriors schedule will take on a Los Angeles flavor over the next week with a pair of games against the Clippers sandwiched around Wednesdays highly anticipated showdown against the Lakers . The action starts on Sunday with a road matinee against Blake Griffin and the Clippers. Tip-off is set for 12:30 p.m. and fans will be able to follow the action live on CSN Bay Area (HD) and KNBR 680.
Winners of six of their last nine games, the Warriors will enter Los Angeles seeking their third-straight victory. Finally playing with a healthy roster, the Warriors have shown that they can be a dangerous team in recent contests. On Friday, three different players made three-pointers in the Warriors first three possessions, and from there the team cruised to a 116-98 victory over the visiting Cavs. Monta Ellis had another All-Star-like performance with 32 points and 10 assists against the Cavs. Entering Saturdays slate of NBA games, Ellis is first among guards in scoring (25.6 ppg) and minutes (40.9 mpg), and third in steals (2.31 spg). For more on the All-Star credentials of Ellis, check out the latest warriors.com blog entry.
Ellis has certainly been the teams MVP throughout the course of the season, and on Friday he received plenty of help from David Lee. An Eastern Conference All-Star last season, Lee was the Warriors prized pick-up of the offseason. After suffering a gruesome elbow injury that sidelined him for eight games earlier this season, Lee looked like his old self on Friday night with 22 points and 14 rebounds. If Lee can provide that kind of production and overall activity in the paint on a consistent basis, the Warriors can very well get back in the playoff picture before this season is all said and done.
Another crucial element for the Warriors success will be the play of the teams second unit. Vladimir Radmanovic has played the best basketball of his Warriors career in recent contests, and on Friday he gave the team a nice little spark with three three-pointers and a dunk in the first seven minutes of the second quarter. Now that the team is healthy, the teams rotation is pretty much set. Players like Radmanovic, Reggie Williams, Acie Law, Ekpe Udoh and Lou Amundson know their roles and they need to be ready when called on by Head Coach Keith Smart.
For the Warriors, obtaining their third-consecutive win wont be easy. Although the Clippers are 13 games under .500, they have won six of their last nine games. Although he is just a rookie, Blake Griffin has been one of the most effective forwards in the NBA this season with 21.7 points and 12.7 rebounds a game, plus a current streak of 22-straight double-doubles. Griffin was held to 14 points in his first game of the season against the Warriors, a 109-91 Golden State victory at Oracle Arena. The Warriors will certainly key on the rookie out of Oklahoma in their game plan, and theyll also have to account for Eric Gordon, who leads the team with 23.5 points per game.
After Sundays game, the Warriors will get set for this season's Bay Area debut of the Lakers on Wednesday, January 12. Individual ticket locations have just been released for this contest, and fans wanting the best value on this game can purchase a Holiday Hoops Mini-Plan. The game against the Lakers will open a five-game homestand, which also includes match-ups with the Clippers (Jan. 14), Nets (Jan. 17), Pacers (Jan. 19) and Kings (Jan. 21).
With All-Star balloting under way, we figured now would be a good time to go over the All-Star credentials of some of the Warriors. Read the most recent warriors.com blog entry and see why Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, David Lee and Andris Biedrins are worthy of your All-Star consideration.
Injuries & Inactives:Warriors - None. Clippers - Chris Kaman (aggravated bone bruise and deltoid ligament sprain of left ankle) and Craig Smith (herniated disc) are out. Brian Cook (sprained right ankle) is doubtful.
At Home: 9-6 On Road: 6-15
VS. West: 9-13 VS. East: 6-8
Won 2 At Home: Won 3 On Road: Won 1
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