Curry, Durant fire blanks but Warriors turn to defense to clobber Clippers for third win in a row
Steph Curry matched his career-high seven steals to make up for missing all eight attempts from deep. AP

KEVIN Durant had his worst shooting game with Golden State, Steph Curry could not buy a bucket from deep, and Klay Thompson also struggled from the field but the Warriors still dealt the Los Angeles Clippers a sound beating, 115-98, on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) at the Staples Center.

The Warriors’ three top scorers missed 31 of their 51 field goals combined, with Durant making just 5-of-17 and Curry struggling at Staples again in missing all eight attempts from beyond the arc. Yet Golden State set the tone for the blowout early with its sterling defense on the Clippers.

The Warriors turned a 15-13 lead past the midway mark of the first quarter into a 20-point advantage 22-4 blitz to close the period. The Clippers, led by Jamal Crawford’s 13 first half points, showed signs of life in the second frame in cutting the gap down to seven at the 2:21 mark of the quarter, before the Warriors brought the lead back up to 13 at the break.

Golden State then went on a 19-5 run to start the third and build a 27-point lead, 81-54, but Austin Rivers and Crawford led a charge from the Clippers bench to cut it down to 14 near the end of the quarter. But that would prove to be the closest the home team could get the rest of the way as the Warriors lead never dipped below 17 in the fourth.

Curry made up for his cold shooting performance in matching his career-high seven steals to go with his 19 points and six assists, as the Warriors forced the Clippers to 14 turnovers and limited them to 39.6 percent from the field.

Thompson shot 8-of-18 and led the Warriors with 24 points. Draymond Green chipped 22 markers and two steals to help Golden State win its third straight game and improve to 19-3. Durant finished with 16 markers, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Crawford scored 21 to lead the Clippers, who lost two in a row and fell to 16-7. Chris Paul and Mo Speights added 15 apiece, Austin Rivers chipped in 14 off the bench, and Blake Griffin had 12 points on a miserable 5-of-20 shooting. JJ Redick also could not find the mark from deep, going 0-of-2 from beyond the arc to finish with only two points.

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