The LA Clippers played a fairly rusty game in their first action out of the NBA All-Star break, but their opponent was even worse, as the Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors 130-104 Thursday at Staples Center.
Both teams entered this game on three-game losing streaks, but the Clippers’ star tandem of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George weathered the early sloppiness as the Warriors were distinctly second-best for most of the game.
The Clippers started the game with their ideal starting five and got to work quickly, racing out to a 12-3 run to open proceedings. Both team started out very sloppy, and the Warriors managed to even up the game at 20-20 before the 1st quarter was over. Patrick Beverley picked up a technical foul before the 1st quarter was done, leaving the defensive specialist to keep his arguing with the officials to a minimum from there.
Leonard hit a go-ahead 3-pointer to end the opening quarter with a Clippers lead, the All-Star scoring 14 straight points to keep the Clippers afloat early.
The 2nd quarter was a foul zone, mostly committed by the Warriors, leaving the game to be choppy and largely without rhythm. All the foul shots helped LA push ahead, as did Stephen Curry sitting for much of the quarter as he struggled to find his shot.
But Beverley exited the game in the 2nd quarter with a right knee issue and was ruled out for the rest of the game, and while the Clippers pushed their lead in the 1st half, we know they have had a tendency to fold down the stretch in games. In the end, that didn’t happen in this particular game.
Still, the Clippers finished a choppy 2nd quarter strong and led 59-43 at the halftime break, Leonard leading all scorers with 20 points at that moment of the game.
The Clippers continued to roll in the 3rd quarter, with Paul George starting to find a rhythm, but to be honest, Golden State looked pretty abject, too. Curry wasn’t having a vintage night but he got pretty fed up during a timeout.
The second half is going great! pic.twitter.com/faICUReojA— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dieter) March 12, 2021
The 3rd quarter ended with LA leading by a whopping 104-68 score, the game decided with another 12 minutes left to play. Leonard ended the night with 28 points in 31 minutes.
Both teams cleared their benches, with Ivica Zubac the most prominent Clipper on the floor to open the 4th quarter. The sustained playing time gave the likes of Patrick Patterson, Luke Kennard and Amir Coffey some good run.
LA head back out on the road, where they’ll first take on the New Orleans Pelicans Sunday evening. Can the Clippers find the momentum to get back on a winning run? We’ll find out as the weekend winds to a close.