Warriors hold off Clippers 114-110
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Golden State Warriors had to deal with adversity on and off the court to pull out a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers and put a happy ending on a difficult day.
Stephen Curry and reserve Carl Landry had 23 points apiece, and the Warriors held off the Clippers for a 114-110 victory on Saturday night.
"We don't quit," coach Mark Jackson said. "We had every reason to quit, but we gutted it out and we defended. It was just a great win for us. I am extremely proud of my guys."
Klay Thompson had 17 points and eight rebounds for Golden State, helping hand the Clippers their first loss of the season.
The win came after the Warriors learned reserve small forward Brandon Rush, their best perimeter defender, will miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the first quarter of Friday night's 104-94 loss to Memphis.
"It was tough. Obviously we were a little shook yesterday when it happened, seeing one of your teammates and brothers go down like that — and then hearing the bad news today that came from the MRI," Curry said. "We were thinking about him all day today. Not seeing him in the locker room tonight was a little different. But you've got to play, and we were thankful that we came out with a win."
Rookie Festus Ezeli started at center for Golden State and had eight points and five rebounds in place of Andrew Bogut, who played in the first two games after returning from surgery on his left ankle. Jackson's plan early in the season is to rest Bogut in the second of back-to-back games.
Chris Paul scored 27 points for Los Angeles, going 19 for 20 at the free-throw line. Reserve Jamal Crawford also had 27 points, and Blake Griffin finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds. The Clippers, coming off victories against Memphis and the Lakers, were trying to go 3-0 for only the fifth time in the franchise's 43-year history.
"I think we did a good job of scrambling, but we shouldn't have put ourselves in that position in the first place," Griffin said.
Los Angeles missed its first five shots and fell behind by nine points. The Warriors extended their lead to as many as 14 with about 4½ minutes left in the first quarter, and the Clippers cut the deficit to 57-53 by halftime. But they never got the lead despite three 3-pointers in a 1:33 span of the third quarter by Caron Butler that kept them within striking distance.
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