THE Golden State Warriors answered every comeback attempt by the Los Angeles Clippers to cruise to a 133-120 victory for their ninth straight win in the matchup between the two teams at the Staples Center on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
Steph Curry turned up the heat in the second half, pouring 17 of his 29 points after the break and added 11 of the Warriors’ 38 assists to roll to their fifth straight win. Kevin Durant flirted with a triple double as he scored 17 of his 26 markers before halftime to go with 10 assists and eight rebounds. Golden State improved the league-best record to 43-7.
With Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia in street clothes, the Warriors faced a tight battle early from Blake Griffin and the Clippers. But Durant, Curry and Klay Thompson sparked a 14-6 run near the end of the second quarter to start pulling away from the Clippers and take a 65-55 lead at the half.
Curry then poured 12 points in the third to douse every attempt of the Clippers to get close as the Warriors extended the lead to 19 in the period. A 9-5 start in the fourth gave Golden State its largest lead at 21, but Austin Rivers led a 14-2 run to cut the gap to seven, 124-117, with 1:55 to play.
Back-to-back triples from Durant and Thompson took the fight out of the Clippers as the Warriors led by 11, 130-119, with a little over a minute remaining.
Griffin had a season-high 31 points for the Clippers (31-19), who were also without top star Chris Paul due to injury. Jamal Crawford poured nine of his 21 markers while Rivers scored 12 of his 18 points in their last-gasp comeback bid in the fourth quarter that fell short.