The Clippers had a rocky couple of weeks, to say the least, marked by the initial acquisition of Norman Powell and capped by his recent injury that will leave him with no timetable for return. The Warriors being the first half of a back-to-back (with the Suns being the second) threatened to lengthen the rough stretch for the Clippers, but they ultimately came out with a 119-104 win at home.
It was clear from the start that both teams came to play, as the first quarter had little margin for error. They combined for 14 three pointers in that high-scoring quarter alone, and the Clippers trailed by just three points by the start of the second. Their momentum, though, began to wane as the Warriors extended their lead to as much as eight in the second quarter.
A quick turnaround powered by the sharp shooting of Nicolas Batum and Isaiah Hartenstein (yes, Isaiah Hartenstein) and a string of ill-timed turnovers on the part of the Warriors helped the Clippers regain the lead and enter the second half with a two point lead. Ivica Zubac, Reggie Jackson, and Batum all finished the half in double digits, while Stephen Curry led his team with 26 first half points.
The start of the third quarter was a welcome sight for fans, as the Clippers showed no sign of stopping their tenacious offensive play. Zubac made himself a passing threat, and used that weapon to both provide three point opportunities for wing threats and to fake his way into an open lane for easy opportunities at the rim. Jackson did his typical work on the perimeter, but also made an impact on the inside as seen with this powerful slam. Terance Mann extended the Clippers lead to 18, contributing as both a scorer and a playmaker.
At the start of the final frame, it was clear the home team had full control of the game, which they ultimately did not sacrifice. Mann led the team with a season-high 25 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 6 assists, while Jackson scored 19 and was two rebounds and one assist away from a triple double. The impressive offensive performance definitely entertained, but the lockdown defense is what won them the game. They constantly forced turnovers and contested as many shots as they could — two traits that they will certainly need as they face the first place Phoenix Suns on the road in the second half of their back-to-back.