A pair of teams from the Pacific Division take the floor in the city by the bay. The LA Clippers are on the road as they make the trip to face the Golden State Warriors Friday night in the second game of a two-game series. In the opening game of the set on Wednesday night, it was the Clippers claiming a 108-101 victory to earn no worse than a split of the two-game road series. The Warriors come into this contest holding a 133-91 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams but the Clippers have won the last four matchups after picking up the victory on Wednesday night.
LA Clippers Seek Sweep of Two-Game Set
LA had dropped two of their previous three games before picking up the road victory over Golden State in a Pacific Division clash Wednesday night. The Clippers entered Thursday third in the Pacific Division standings, half a game behind the Lakers and Suns for the top spot. LA led by six after the opening quarter, saw their lead trimmed to one at the half and re-extended their lead to six after three quarters. The Clippers gave up a 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter to trail by six with just under nine minutes to play. LA was tied with just over five minutes to play before going on a game-sealing 15-4 run to get the victory. The Clippers shot 44.4 percent from the field, including 11 of 34 from beyond the arc, and hit all 25 of their free throw attempts. LA won the rebounding battle 48-35 to help offset turning the ball over 20 times. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George (12 rebounds) each had 21 points to lead the Clippers in the victory.
For the year, the Clippers are 17th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 110.6 points per game. LA is 25th in rebounding with 42.2 boards a night while they stand 15th in assists by handing out 24.4 per game. The Clippers are 11th in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 108.6 points a night. Paul George leads the team with 24.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists a night. Kawhi Leonard kicks in 23 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists a game while Serge Ibaka adds 11.8 points plus seven boards a contest. Ivica Zubac, Lou Williams, Nicolas Batum, Luke Kennard, Patrick Beverley (10.6 points, six rebounds), Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr. are key players in the rotation. LA is 12th in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.9 percent from the floor as a team. The Clippers are seventh by knocking down 14.1 three-pointers a night while they are second in the league by drilling a sizzling 40.8 percent of their long-range attempts.
Golden State Warriors Look to Bounce Back at Home
Golden State had won two straight and four of their last five games but ran out of steam down the stretch to fall at home to the Clippers. The Warriors entered Thursday tied for fourth in the Pacific Division with a 4-4 record, two games behind the Suns and Lakers for the top spot. Golden State rallied from down six after the opening quarter and after three quarters to take a six-point lead with 8:56 to play but got cold down the stretch. The Warriors were even with just over five minutes to go but was outscored 15-4 over the next three minutes to trail by 11 with 2:26 to play. Golden State couldn’t do enough to get the victory the rest of the way. The Warriors shot 45.3 percent from the field, including eight of 30 from beyond the arc, and were beaten 48-35 on the boards. Eric Paschall and Andrew Wiggins each had 19 points to lead Golden State in the loss.
On the season, the Warriors are 9th in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 114.5 points per game on the year. Golden State stands 19th in the league in rebounding with an average of 43.9 boards a night while they stand 16th by dishing out an average of 24.3 assists a night. The Warriors are 27th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 119.5 points per contest. Stephen Curry leads the team with 29.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game on the season. James Wiseman kicks in 11.3 points plus six boards a night while Andrew Wiggins puts up 17.8 points a game. Golden State looks to Kelly Oubre Jr. (10.5 points, 5.6 rebounds), Brad Wanamaker, Draymond Green, Eric Paschall, Kevon Looney and Jordan Poole to contribute on both ends of the floor for coach Steve Kerr. As a team, the Warriors are 24th in the league by shooting 44.1 percent from the floor on the year. Golden State stands 12th by knocking down an average of 12.9 three-pointers a night while they are 23rd by shooting 34.3 percent from three-point range on the season. Marquese Chriss is done for the year after breaking his leg in late December while Alen Smailagic is out after knee surgery January 2.