Warriors hand Clippers 2nd straight loss, 115-94
"We were just not sharp," Del Negro said.
"We just kind of hit a little bit of a wall," said Clippers forward Blake Griffin, who had 10 points and six rebounds. "They completely outplayed us tonight in almost every area."
This was no normal Clippers-Warriors matchup.
Every fan received a "Winter Whiteout" T-shirt to watch two perennial losing franchises that are among the NBA's hottest and most surprising this season. The two franchises had never met with both in first and second in the same division at the turn of the new year, going back to the 1978-89 season when the Clippers moved West from Buffalo.
The Warriors built a big lead in a hurry from beyond the arc and never relented. Curry, Barnes and Klay Thompson each swished a 3-pointer to give Golden State an 18-point lead late in the first quarter.
"That set the tone better than we have ever this year," Curry said.
Former Warriors small forward Matt Barnes brought the Clippers back, igniting a 27-5 run while hustling hard on both ends. Barnes, who started in Butler's place, converted a pair of 3s and a running layup to slice Golden State's lead to four early in the second quarter.
Curry returned and helped the Warriors go 12 for 23 from long range. He also started a three-point play with a running shot off the backboard while getting fouled by Paul, pumping his chest with both arms in an emphatic celebration. The Warriors led 62-49 at the break behind Curry, whose 25 points were the most a Warriors player has scored in any half this season.
"When he's in a rhythm like that, I don't talk a whole lot to him. I just try to set screens and give him any kind of daylight, because he's a special player," Lee said.
After the Warriors took a 68-49 lead on Festus Ezeli's dunk early in the third quarter, Los Angeles dodged its biggest tumble of the night.
Griffin twisted in the air and landed hard on his right shoulder and head when Ezeli reached in on his arms. After officials reviewed video replays, they called a flagrant 1 foul against Ezeli, which might have been Jackson's only complaint all game.
"He's a great actor," Jackson said. "I've seen those Kia commercials."
NOTES: Del Negro was named Western Conference Coach of the Month of December on Wednesday. Larry Brown (March 1992) is the only other Clippers coach to win the honor. Paul earned Western Conference Player of the Month. ... Raiders owner Mark Davis, super middleweight boxing champion Andre Ward, musician Carlos Santana and former NBA player Kenny Smith were among those in attendance.
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