After struggling to come up with the win at home against the Timberwolves Monday, the Clippers had no problem with the Warriors tonight, dominating every aspect of the game on their way to a 118-90 victory. The Clippers shot almost 58%, the Warriors shot under 35%, and what more do you really need to know?
I must cop to having been a little nervous at halftime when the lead was a mere 12, despite an even greater shooting disparity at that point of 61% to 33%. But the simple fact is that the Warriors were pretty terrible tonight, and the Clippers were very good, so the Clippers pulled away pretty easily in the second half. After a 34-16 third quarter, the lead was 30 going into a full fourth quarter of garbage time.
I watched the game with about 20 citizens at the Beach Club in Long Beach, which worked out great. We even had a couple of Warriors fans from Golden State of Mind join us. I'll post about the party another time, but it was definitely nice to enjoy a big game with other fans.
I'm going to shortchange you a bit on this recap. I still have a preview of tomorrow's game to write, and ClipperMax has a 7:20 soccer game in the morning if you can believe that, so I really should be in bed already. The shame is, with another game so soon, there likely won't be a chance to re-visit this one, or to savor it for that matter. Which is too bad, because games in which the Clippers dominate have been few and far between the last few seasons.
Chris Kaman continues his torrid start. He went for 22 and 9 on 9 for 16 shooting in only 28 minutes. You know you're having a good season when numbers like those actually lower all of your season averages. Once again he had the full arsenal working. He opened the game with a straightaway 18 footer, and had lefty jump hooks, right jump hooks, and everything else you can think of in the game. With Andris Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf both out of this game, the only thing the Warriors 'bigs' could do with Kaman was foul him or flop, both of which they did frequently. Kaman has now scored 20+ points in five straight, extending his personal best streak.
MDsr actually stuck to his guns and started Marcus Camby, despite the strange matchup with Stephen Jackson, and it appears to have worked. The Clippers starting unit manhandled the Warriors starters. So someone needs to tell Rotowire that I'm not really a reliable source. Camby only scored 4 free throws in the game, but he had 12 rebounds, 2 blocks and 4 steals, so he was definitely a factor in his 30 minutes.
Eric Gordon and Baron Davis each scored 25 points to lead the Clippers. Baron just LOVES playing the Warriors. Since joining the Clippers, he's faced his former team four times and he's scored 25, 29, 25 and 25 in those games. He was even efficient, scoring those 25 points on 13 shots. Gordon was even more efficient, scoring his 25 on 12 shots. If he'd made his free throws, it would have been even better.
DeAndre Jordan was the star of the fourth quarter, putting on a show in garbage time. He had multiple dunks and even made a turnaround jumper on the baseline, which must surely be the first of his career. (I've watched DJ working on offensive moves in practice, and I've never seen him practice that shot, even with nobody defending him.) It's just garbage time of course, but to the extent that it can get DJ more comfortable on the floor this season, where he has seemed to be pressing early, it is a very useful thing.
The Clippers defense was excellent. They did the two things you have to do with the Warriors. They shut down the penetration to the rim, and they took away the three point line. That left the Warriors with little but mid-range jumpers, and if you can turn the Warriors into a team shooting mid-range jumpers, you're going to win the game.
So it's the Clippers first road win of the season. It's the first win streak of the season. And for what it's worth, the big margin of victory evened the Clippers points for-points against for the season. Too bad we don't get to linger over it a little, but it's time to move on to the Memphis game.