If the Warriors are without their two leading scorers, they may need Curry to reprise that effort Sunday at Staples Center.
Two of the four worst teams in the Western Conference, the Clippers (27-45) and Warriors (20-52) have split the first two meetings of their season series - both at Oracle Arena, with each ending in a rout. Los Angeles won 118-90 on Nov. 6, and Golden State prevailed 132-102 on Feb. 10.
Curry scored a career-high 36 points last month’s meeting, adding 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his first triple-double. The former Davidson College star shot 11 of 22 from the filed, including 7 of 11 from 3-point range.
Curry had another good game earlier this week, scoring 30 points to go along with 11 assists and five steals in a win over Memphis on Wednesday. He fared worse in Saturday’s 111-90 loss to Dallas, scoring 17 points but shooting a lackluster 6 of 16 and turning the ball over seven times for the second straight contest.
Golden State lost two of three on its just-completed homestand and has dropped five of seven overall, allowing 124.1 points per game in that stretch. Dallas led by as many as 33 points Saturday while the Warriors, who had averaged 121.6 points over their previous nine games, failed to reach 100 for the first time in exactly three weeks.
Starters Monta Ellis(notes) and Corey Maggette(notes) have been battling illness, and both players went to the Warriors’ locker room midway through the fourth quarter and didn’t return. Ellis leads Golden State in scoring with 25.5 points per game, while Maggette’s 20.0 average ranks second. Neither player’s status for Sunday is known.
“We had a couple of guys who aren’t feeling well and I think it showed in their performance tonight,” coach Don Nelson said. “You have games like that you have to go through like this and I am not mad at anybody.”
Losers of 12 of 15 overall, the Clippers are trying to win consecutive games for the first time since a three-game winning streak Feb. 20-24. They rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to win 99-93 at Houston on Thursday. Reserve forward Craig Smith(notes) led the way with 25 points and 10 rebounds - both season highs.
“Much needed. Much needed,” said point guard and former Warrior Baron Davis(notes), who had 16 points and eight assists. “It was great. Hopefully it gives us a lot of confidence for the next game going forward.”
Drew Gooden(notes) added 17 points and 14 rebounds, continuing his outstanding play since the Clippers acquired him from Washington last month. He’s averaging 14.8 points and 9.9 rebounds over 17 games with his new club, including 17.0 points and 11.8 boards in his last five.
Gooden scored 24 points and had 10 rebounds in a win over the Warriors on Feb. 8, when he was playing for the Mavericks.
The Clippers and Warriors will meet again in Los Angeles on April 10 to conclude their season series.