Gameday: Warriors vs. Clippers - 12/25/13


Christmas Whiteout, multiple ejections and a game that went down to the wire – the Warriors’ 105-103 victory over the Clippers at Oracle Arena had all the dramatics a fan can ask for, including a pair of defensive stops by the Dubs in the game’s final possession. David Lee and Klay Thompson each had 23 points and Stephen Curry scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. After trailing by as many as 13 points early in the game, the Warriors came back and took the lead for good on a pair of Harrison Barnes free throws with 1:09 left in the fourth quarter. No team scored after that, and the Dubs’ secured their third-straight win when Jamal Crawford’s last-second three-pointer was off the mark. The Warriors will look to keep that winning streak alive on Friday when they host the Suns in another Pacific Division showdown at Oracle Arena.
Mark Jackson
On if this is a rivalry now:
“It was a tough hard fought game, but I still believe this isn’t a rivalry because neither one of us have done anything. It was two teams playing with an edge competing against each other. Just a hard fought game.”
On the animosity between the two teams:
“We like them. Merry Christmas.”
On tonight's altercations:
“We understand it, but it’s just physical basketball. We don’t get caught up in it. Fouls, hard fouls, rebounds and screens – just good old fashioned basketball. Two teams were playing for something. At the end of the day we know they are a very good basketball team. Nothing but respect for them.”
On Klay Thompson's defense on Chris Paul:
“I thought his defense was stellar all night long. He was guarding a superstar basketball player and he was trying to make life tough for him. Contesting shots, fighting through screens – did an outstanding job. When closing out the game he was very disciplined and his length kept him in the plays. I thought the guys behind him did a great job whether it was the bigs, or the small guys like Harrison (Barnes) or Andre (Iguodala) switching off onto Chris Paul. You don’t guard Chris Paul with one guy. Klay Thompson did a great job, but you do it as a unit and as a group.”
On the team minimizing their turnovers:
“Feels real good. When we take care of the basketball we are tough to beat. It starts with Steph (Stephen Curry). He didn’t have his best shooting night, but did a great job down the stretch making plays. I thought he did a great job taking care of the basketball. He was facilitating and not turning over the basketball and that was contagious. We got good looks all night long and it kept us in the ballgame despite missing shots. If you turn the ball over against them it’s fast break dunks and fast break three point shots.”
On Harrison Barnes:
“He was very aggressive. He got the opportunity and was looking to make plays and he battled on the defensive end. He’s got to play that way because I’m not going to bench him. He would be the first to tell you that he’s not playing his best basketball. The thing I love about him is that he’s not pointing the finger and he’s in the gym working. Made some big plays for us tonight and it’s great to see.”
Draymond Green
On coaches not calling this game a rivalry:
“It depends on what you describe a rivalry as. Its two hard-playing teams. At the end of the day, they want to win and we want to win. Both teams have something to play for. Both teams feel like they can play late in June so both teams are going to play hard. I’ve said it before; you have some key matchups in the game where guys want to go at each other. Anytime you have that, you’re going to have a tough, hardnosed game.”
On tonight's win:
“It’s a good win for us. At the end of the day, we did what we needed to do to win a basketball game. It went back and forth, and when we needed to get a stop we were able to come up with a couple stops and that’s what it boils down to. We made the necessary plays that we needed to make to win a game.”
David Lee
On why the game was so physical:
“I wouldn’t call it a rivalry. I’d say that we’re two teams that seem to always play close games and tonight was no exception. Two teams with a lot of guys with pride on the line and I thought tonight was a game of runs. I thought tonight they got off to a great start and we didn’t play well to start the game. We were able to come back with our defense and I thought we finished the game great.”
On limiting turnovers and winning the rebounding battle:
“Beating them on the boards is one of the biggest things. Keeping them out of transition by keeping our turnovers low and finding a way to rebound with all the athletes they have, if we can do those two things we’ll be in the game and we did those two things tonight. Outrebounding them was a huge part of it though because last game I think they had 16 offensive rebounds or something against us and killed us on the boards.”
On Klay Thompson's defense on Chris Paul:
“Chris [Paul] is one of the best finishers in the game. He’s one of those guys that everybody in the gym knows the ball is going to him in the last couple seconds and he made a nice drive and was looking for contact and Kent [Bazemore] stepped over one time and Klay [Thompson] was able to get a block. They played some great defense at the rim, our guards did. That’s a tough guy to do that with and also not commit fouls. I’m proud of our guys, we got stops when it counted.”
On the Christmas Night win at home:
“Huge. It’s huge. It’s a nationally televised game against a team that’s not a rival, but a team that’s a very good basketball team and just happy that we could go out and get another win. I think that’s three-in-a-row now and we’re just trying to build something for this East Coast trip coming up.”

The Warriors welcome the Los Angeles Clippers to Oracle Arena on Wednesday for the final contest of the NBA’s five-game Christmas showcase. Both squads are expected to compete for the Pacific Division crown, so this will give both sides an opportunity to make a statement on the national stage. The second of four games between the two teams coincides with a Christmas Whiteout, powered by Clorox, in which all fans in attendance will receive a free T-shirt. Other holiday celebrations are planned for the game as well, and a limited number of tickets are still available. GET TICKETS
The Warriors made it two wins in a row after defeating the Nuggets 89-81 in Denver on Monday night. David Lee recorded his ninth-straight double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Stephen Curry added 14 points and seven assists, while Andre Iguodala chipped in 12 points and six boards in his return to Denver. The victory pushes the Warriors record to 16-13. GAME RECAP
Boy, are we in for a treat. Wednesday’s game once again pits two of the top point guards in the game in Chris Paul and Stephen Curry against one another, and neither is expected to disappoint. At last checkpoint, they ranked second and third, repecitvely, in Western Conference All-Star voting among guards, and it’s no surprise why. Curry ranks fifth in the league in scoring, averaging 23.9 points per game, while Paul isn’t far behind with 19.2. Paul leads the league in assists by a large margin, averaging 11.2 per game, while Curry is right behind him in second with 9.2 dimes per game. Add in the fact that Paul and Curry rank third (2.36) and seventh (1.96) in the league in steals per game, and it’s clear this will be a back-and-forth battle on both sides of the court. While the team victory undoubtedly holds the upmost importance, this head-to-head matchup offers each player to make their case to start the All-Star game for the West.
After Wednesday’s primetime matchup, the Warriors remaining schedule contains the same amount of games against teams from the Eastern and Western conferences, with 26 contests left against each. That’s in stark contrast to the early portion of the schedule, which saw the Dubs face 26 of their first 30 games against Western Conference foes. In a more normal year, that disparity wouldn’t be as significant, but when you consider the Eastern Conference is performing at a historically-poor rate, there is reason for optimism as the Warriors’ season progresses. Yes, their current record may not match up with the expectations they entered the season with, but they’ve survived the tough start in decent shape, and now have a chance to make up some ground in the standings while the schedules balance out across the league. Of course, the Dubs still have to win those games, but they can take solace in the fact that they’re still within shouting distance of where they want to be, with plenty time left to make up the difference.
When you talk about the Clippers, it all starts and ends with Chris Paul. He’s the best floor general in the league and the main reason why his team comes into Wednesday's Christmas showdown as winners of five straight games and owners of the fourth best record in the Western Conference. He’s a tremendous dribble penetrator, and uses his great quickness and vision to create easy buckets for his fellow teammates, namely Lob City participants Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The Clippers’ big men are extremely athletic and proficient at playing above the rim, although they’re not the best back-to-the-basket players. The Dubs will need to do everything they can to keep those bigs grounded, and thus, mitigate much of their effect on the outcome of the game. There’s no stopping Paul, but if you can take away his top weapons, you stand a decent shot at coming out on the winning side.
Featured Promotion
Christmas Whiteout, powered by Clorox
All fans in attendance will receive a Warriors Whiteout T-Shirt
Injury Report
GSW: Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery), Ognjen Kuzmic (fifth metacarpal fracture, right hand) and Jermaine O’Neal (right wrist surgery) are out.

LAC: J.J. Redick (fractured right hand/torn ligament in right wrist), Reggie Bullock (sprained left ankle) and Maalik
Wayns (torn meniscus left knee) are out.




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