The Golden State Warriors called it losing uglier.
On a night when the Warriors missed 26 of their 31 3-point attempts,
the Clippers got eight late points from point guard Chris Paul and
held on for a 98-96 victory in Game 3 of the Western Conference
The win allowed the Clippers to offset a Game 1 loss in Los Angeles
and regain the home-court advantage in the best-of-7 series. Game 4
is scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Oakland, with the Clippers now
holding a 2-1 lead.
"I thought we earned the game because we played better (than the
Warriors) overall," Rivers said after his club snapped a five-game
road losing streak in the postseason. "Winning ugly is beautiful to
me, but I know we can play better."
The Clippers led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter and by
11 to begin the fourth, but found themselves clinging to just an
87-86 advantage after Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson scored
inside with 4:24 to play.
Power forward Blake Griffin, the Clippers' leading scorer with 32
points, dropped in a tough jumper from the right corner to increase
the margin to three, and Paul took over from there.
The veteran nailed a 15-footer with 3:18 to go and then a 3-pointer
with 2:40 left to push the Clippers' advantage to 94-86.
Paul added three free throws in four attempts down the stretch as
the Clippers held on for the narrow win.
"It's a good win for us," Paul assured. "But I told the guys in one
of the huddles: We're not going to win or lose this series in this
one game. We have to come out just as hungry Sunday."
Fittingly, the game ended on a missed 3-pointer by the Warriors,
with the ball landing in the hands of Clippers center DeAndre
Jordan, his 22nd rebound of the night.
Down two with 7.8 seconds left, the Warriors went for the win. Star
point guard Stephen Curry took an inbounds pass, and after not being
able to dribble around Paul, he stepped back and fired a potential
The tough shot went just 23 feet, however, and the Clippers were
able to hold on.
"I knew who was getting it," Paul said. "I figured he would shoot
it. I tried to make him as uncomfortable as possible."
Warriors coach Mark Jackson felt Paul went a little overboard in his
"You're supposed to be able to land," Jackson said of Curry, who
fell backward after some contact with Paul after the shot. "Clearly
he wasn't allowed to. I'm not expecting an apology (from the NBA
Griffin's 32 points came on 15-for-25 shooting as the Clippers hit
46.5 percent of their shots.
Paul finished with 15 points and Jordan added 14 to go with 22
rebounds. Shooting guard JJ Redick had 14 points and backup guard
Jamal Crawford was good for 13.
Thompson led the Warriors with 26 points, but he missed nine of his
11 3-point attempts on a night when Golden State shot just 19.4
percent from beyond the arc.
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Curry complemented Thompson with 16 points and 15 assists. Backup
forward Draymond Green (13 points), power forward David Lee (12),
small forward Andre Iguodala (11) and center Jermaine O'Neal (10)
also scored in double figures for the Warriors, who shot just 41.6
"A bad shooting night," said Thompson, who missed one of the key
shots of the night for the Warriors.
Despite missing 22 of their first 25 3-point shots and falling 18
down in the third quarter, the Warriors rallied to make a game of it
in the fourth quarter.
Curry and Thompson, who had combined to make just one 3 in the first
42 minutes of the game, buried back-to-back jumpers from beyond the
arc, getting the Warriors within 87-84.
When Thompson scored from inside on Golden State's next possession,
suddenly it was a one-point game with 4:24 to play.
Griffin countered with his tough shot from the right corner, but
Thompson then had a chance to tie with a wide-open look from 26
feet. He missed, and the Warriors never caught up.
"That felt great," Thompson noted. "I was even walking back (on
defense) thinking I made it. That one hurt."
The Clippers made their big push in the third quarter, extending a
three-point halftime advantage to 18 with a 19-4 burst to open the
Griffin was at his best during the dominant run, scoring Los
Angeles' first 10 points on just six shots.
NOTES: PF Blake Griffin became the first Clipper to score 30-plus
points in consecutive playoff games since Elton Brand accomplished
the feat in the 2006 postseason. ... The game featured flagrant
fouls by Clippers SF Matt Barnes and Warriors backup F Draymond
Green, and a technical foul on LA PG Chris Paul. ... The Clippers
had lost five in a row in Oakland and 15 of their last 17, all in
regular-season play. ... The Clippers were making their first-ever
visit to Oakland for a playoff game. ... The loss was the first for
the Warriors in the first round of postseason play since May 4,
1994, against Phoenix. ... Among those in attendance were San
Francisco Giants home run king Barry Bonds, Michigan State coach Tom
Izzo and three guys the Warriors traded away within the past year — Cleveland Cavaliers SG Jarrett Jack, Utah Jazz SF Brandon Rush and
Los Angeles Clippers F/G Kent Bazemore.
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