Never before has a win over the Clippers meant so much. For years, these two teams have battled in the Western Conference with their games usually having the same meaning as two pintos racing each other on the freeway. But last night, the Clippers came to Oracle Arena winners of 7 of their past 10 games. And with Blake Griffin’s dominating play, Warriors fans had to be worried that yet another team was about to surpass their boys.
After last Sunday’s blowout loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles, a loss at home would have possibly sealed their fate. A late fourth quarter surge put the brakes on that way of thinking, at least for the time being as Golden State pulled away for a 122-112 win.
When the season started, this was exactly how Warriors management pictured a Golden State victory. Monta Ellis scoring at will (30 points in 32 minutes); Stephen Curry nailing open 3’s (5-7 from deep); David Lee giving them an inside presence (19 points, 9 boards, 6 assists) and Reggie Williams and Vladimir Radmanovic giving them production off the bench (29 points). It was a near perfect effort which resulted in a much needed win.
But it wasn’t easy. The Clippers scored 39 points in the first quarter and led by four after one. Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon were no surprises, but Ike Diogu certainly was. He scored nine points in just under four minutes off the bench on two layups, a dunk, another layup and a free throw. The former #1 pick of the Warriors hadn’t scored that much since torching Stanford for 39 while wearing a Sun Devils uniform back in ’05.
Still, Monta Ellis responded. He had 21 first half points as the Warriors clamped down on defense in the 2nd quarter and took a 69-62 lead into the break.
The Clippers would never lead in the 2nd half, but they tied it several times, including at 104 with just under 5 minutes to play on an Eric Gordon 3-pointer. After Andris Biedrins and DeAndre Jordan each scored the game was tied for the 13th time. It was also the last. Radmanovic hit a 3-pointer the next two times down the court for Golden State and the lead was six, 112-106. Reggie Williams then found David Lee inside for a layup, and Monta Ellis hit a couple of short J’s and the lead was 118-108.
They may not be able to beat Kobe and the Lakers, but they can still beat the Clippers…at least some of the times.
About the Author
Written by Scott Johnston
Scott Johnston is a longtime Sports TV Producer/Writer from Los Angeles who now lives just outside of Boston. After a long career at KCAL-TV in L.A., where Scott covered such things as Kirk Gibson’s HR, Hank Gathers death, and Magic Johnson’s retirement, NBA ll-Star Game MVP performance and subsequent return to the NBA. His favorite team is the Oakland A’s and whomever happens to be playing the Yankees, USC or the Cowboys on that particular day. Scott left his staff position at KCAL and formed his own small production company in 1996 while continuing to freelance there and at other stations, including WTTG in DC for two years. His company, ProTVSports, started out covering one team during Spring Training in 1997 but now covers six of the Cactus League teams. He also covers tennis and golf events during the year and has had the privilege of covering 5 NBA Finals, including two of the last three. Scott loves all sports, but considers baseball to be his favorite. He loves politcs, reading, movies and his wife and two daughters—not in that order!