Blake Griffin had 30 points and 15 rebounds, Chris Paul had 16 points and 12 assists and Danny Granger had 18 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 111-98 victory on Wednesday over the Golden State Warriors.
The red-hot Clippers won their ninth straight and extended their Pacific Division lead over the Warriors to five games.
Griffin was 13 of 28 from the floor and had three steals. Paul also had three steals and was two rebounds short of a triple-double. Granger made his first six shots and scored 14 points in the first half. DeAndre Jordan added 10 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks for Los Angeles (46-20).
Klay Thompson had 26 points for Golden State (41-25), who saw their five-game winning streak come to an end. David Lee had 20 points and seven rebounds. Stephen Curry added 13 points and 11 assists.
Thompson made 4 of 6 3-pointers, becoming the first player in NBA history to make 500 3s through his first three seasons.
The game, between two of the hottest teams in the league, was close from the start. There were 20 lead changes and eight ties in the first half. No team led by more than four points. The Warriors had a 56-54 lead at halftime.
Golden State gained some momentum coming out of the second half. Thompson made two 3-pointers and scored 10 points to help the Warriors built a 76-69 lead with 5:23 to go in the third quarter.
That’s when the game turned in Los Angeles's favor.
Golden State made just one field goal in the next nine minutes. The Clippers took full advantage by going on a 20-6 run to take an 89-82 lead with just under nine minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Andrew Bogut’s layup with 7:40 left ended a drought of over seven minutes without a field goal for the Warriors.
Golden State recovered and twice cut the deficit to four, but the Clippers made clutch plays down the stretch to prevent the Warriors from getting any closer. First it was a Darren Collision layup off a turnover. After a layup by Lee, Collision missed a jumper but Jordan slammed home the miss.
Los Angeles sealed the win when Collison and Paul both hit a jumper and made two free throws. Matt Barnes added a 3-pointer for good measure. The Clippers improved to 26-0 when leading after three quarters at home.
“We fought,” said Warriors coach Mark Jackson. “We made some mistakes and things didn’t go our way, but I saw a lot of good things out there. Tough loss. Now it’s about regrouping and putting on another run. But I like the way we battled.”
The bench that played so well for the Warriors as of late had a poor night. The reserves scored just 20 points on 3 of 25 shooting. For the Clippers, Granger and Willie Green combined for 31 points by themselves. The duo shot 12 of 17 from the field and 5 of 9 from beyond the arc.
Los Angeles also dominated in rebounds (49-36), second-chance points (19-3) and points off turnovers (23-11).
“We fought hard to the end,” said Curry. “I lose the ball a couple of times. They get the big put-back and kind of take control with under six minutes in the fourth. We played a pretty solid game all the way through, but I don’t think fatigue had anything to do with it. Just didn't make the right plays down the stretch.”
“They made plays,” said Jackson. “They hurt us on the backboard, but they made plays. They made shots and we made some uncharacteristic turnovers and careless plays. We missed some shots. Give them credit. They won the ball game.”
The season series between the two rivals end in a tie, with both teams winning twice at home. The Warriors have won or tied the season series against the Clippers in every season since 2005-06.