Clippers outlast rival Warriors

first_imgGriffin had 30 points and 15 rebounds. With his fifth rebound, he became the third player in NBA history to reach 6,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists while shooting 50 percent from the field before the end of his fourth season. The others are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Charles Barkley.Granger scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half, though his most memorable shot was a 3-pointer that missed before Griffin swooped in for a rebound dunk.“I was telling Danny, I’m not going to lie, I kind of wanted it to come off the rim if I was going to run that hard,” Griffin said with a smile. “I was at the 3-point line when he shot it and I started running in and it came just right. I got lucky.”Paul finished with 16 points, 12 assists, eight rebounds and three steals and one was one of seven Clippers in double figures.Willie Green added 13 points off the bench.“We have to prove to ourselves that we can win games like this,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “Each game like this helps. We have to learn physical composure and mental toughness and that’s where we’re growing.“I was looking forward to this game because I felt like some of those things would happen in this game and we came out of it.”The Clippers (46-20) limited the Warriors (41-25) to 43.9-percent shooting. Klay Thompson led Golden State with 26 points, David Lee had 20 and Stephen Curry had 13 points and 11 assists.The Clippers trailed by as many as seven points in the third quarter but rallied and Paul’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer gave them an 84-79 lead.“Our fight has been great with whoever’s on the court,” Griffin said. “Up 10, down 10, I think it’s come to a point where it doesn’t matter, we stick together and try to pull it out.“To have all the guys hurt that we’ve had this year and not have our full team and be where we are is great. We’ve gone through a lot of adversity and I think that’s going to help us down the road.” He darn near had a triple-double. He made three of his final four shots, including a 3-pointer that set the tone for the fourth quarter.But just after the Clippers’ 111-98 win over Golden State on Wednesday at Staples Center, there was Chris Paul taking a self-mandated shooting session.“I don’t think we’ve been complacent at any point and CP is a leader doing something like that,” forward Blake Griffin said. “He puts a lot on himself and after a game where he hit big shots, maybe he didn’t shoot a great percentage — and nobody really did — it shows you how hungry he is.”The teams went out and began throwing haymakers at the opposition. By halftime, there were already 20 lead changes, and in the third quarter, the Clippers turned a six-point deficit into a five-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. It was entertaining stuff and thoughts raced ahead to the playoffs, since if the postseason was to start Wednesday, they would be first-round opponents.They went at each other tough but didn’t cross the edge they’ve crossed in the physical meetings of the past two seasons. There was one brief spill when Griffin and Draymond Green got tangled and went to the floor on a play away from the ball, with Green being called for a foul.And during a timeout early in the fourth quarter, Golden State’s Jermaine O’Neal had words for Griffin in front of the Clippers’ bench and O’Neal was eventually called for a technical foul.In the end, the Clippers had their ninth consecutive victory and growing sense of confidence.They have been winning without scorers like J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford, and now newcomers Danny Granger and Glen Davis are beginning to step forward.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img