The Los Angeles Clippers had a spectacular fourth quarter that resulted in a 111-98 victory over the rival Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on Wednesday night.
The Clippers are winners of nine in a row, which is the second best winning streak in team history. A pivotal game for Clippers as they continue to make the playoff push towards that second seed in the Western Conference.
The Clippers currently sit in the third seed, while the Warriors sit in the sixth seed. If the playoffs began tomorrow, these two teams would be a first round playoff match up.
The Clippers split the season series (2-2) with the Warriors.
For the past two seasons each game has increased intensity between the two teams. On Christmas Day, Blake Griffin was ejected when the two battled in Oakland.
The Clippers emerged in the fourth quarter, and came alive when Danny Granger missed a three pointer, and Griffin already in flight towered over everybody for the monster dunk.
"I was telling Danny [Granger], I'm not going to lie-I kind of wanted it to come off the rim if I was going to run that hard," Griffin said jokingly. "I was at the three point line when he shot it, and I started running in and it just came off just right. I'm lucky."
This win also increases the lead over the Houston Rockets for the third seed by one game, and gives them a 3.5 game lead over the Portland Trail Blazers. The Clippers are only 3 games behind Oklahoma City, and 2 games behind the San Antonio Spurs. The West is still open for the top seeds.
While many may be concerned about how to defend Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, or Andre Iguodala, one coach hasn't forgotten about a member of the Clippers, some may overlook.
"Make him [Blake Griffin] hit the jump shot. That's how you play Lebron James. It doesn't change. It's not saying that he can't make it, but you are playing numbers," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.
Steph Curry who finished with 13 points, 11 assist, Klay Thompson added 26 points in the loss for Golden State.
"It's not a significant win because we beat Golden State, it was significant because we won the game," said Doc Rivers. "We fought, and we found ourselves, and a way to win."
Between the two premier coaches in Jackson and Rivers, top players Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Igudola, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, this rivalry has all the makings of being one explosive playoff series for many years to come.
And last night as far as the regular is concerned the Clippers got the last laugh....for now.