Not all losses are created equal.
Before tonight, Chris Paul averaged 23.3 points against the Warriors. He finished the game with 13 points on 16 shots.
J.J. Redick was shooting a league leading 48.5-percent on threes before tonight. He shot 1-6 from behind the arc tonight.
But if the end result is the same, does it matter how the losses were created?
The Warriors swept the season series against the Clippers, and every game was different. Tonight, the Clippers fought and hung in the game perhaps longer than expected, but when the Warriors outscore you by 21 points from range, it is hard to win. Golden State shot 15 of 34 from deep compared to the Clippers eight of 28.
It didn't matter how dominate DeAndre Jordan was in the interior with 19 points, 20 rebounds and a few monster lobs.
The Warriors had an answer for everything.
Steph Curry had 33 points with four three pointers. Klay Thompson had 32 with seven. Whenever the Clippers made a push, one of The Brothers was essentially guaranteed to make a shot.
After the first quarter the Clippers led 28-21. They fed Redick early, nearly forcing, but created good looks that just wouldn't go through the bottom of the net. The attention Redick drew created opportunities for others, with a few early treys from Jeff Green and Jamal Crawford.
Possession after possession for the Clippers in the first quarter was one set piece after another, trying to regulate the flow of the game.
Jordan controlled the glass, with nine rebounds in the opening period. Also, Jordan consistently found himself guarding Curry in isolation situations off of switches.
Jordan played the entire first quarter, and the dynamics altered immensely once he subbed out. The pace was no longer in the Clippers favor. The amount of set plays lowered and the Warriors took advantage of a weedy performance from the Clippers second unit.
The quadruplet of Green, Austin Rivers, Cole Aldrich and Wesley Johnson played about 5 minutes together early in the second quarter. They all posted a plus/minus of minus-10 or worse.
For the Warriors, former-Clipper Shaun Livingston exploited mismatches. Posting up the tinier Rivers, and taking the bigger Aldrich off the dribble. When the Clippers defense collapsed, Livingston and the Warriors whirled the ball around the perimeter, finding open shots. The unselfishness was quicker than the defensive rotations.
The starters returned to close the deficit to two points, but in the second half the Warriors psychologically axed the Clippers.
The Warriors greatest offensive threat they retain isn't their actual shooting ability anymore, but the threat of the shot. The Warriors create so many easy looks in side because defenders stress so much about the shot.
The Clippers scrambled the entire half, as the Warriors scored 63. Thompson went supernova, hitting six of eight threes from a variety of catch and shoot angles. When Redick overplayed on the line, Thompson cut towards the basket for a layup. The switches that placed Jordan on Curry swung in Curry's favor as the game went on.
Every adjustment the Clippers made, the Warriors made it seem a massive over adjustment. In the history of the NBA, there's never been a team better amidst the chaos.
Draymond Green went point forward periodically, finishing the game with 12 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, all of which were in the second half. When the Clippers compensated in the second half towards swallowing Curry, Green found himself on the pick-and-roll with numbers advantages and repeatedly made the right play.
Andrew Bogut, in his first game back from injury, scored only four points, but had 10 rebounds and four assists.
The Clippers play tomorrow night at home against the Portland Trailblazers. The Warriors play the Dallas Mavericks next on Friday, at home.