Warriors 106, Clippers 99

Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. - The Golden State Warriors turned a three-point deficit into a six-point advantage with a late 9-0 run Monday afternoon and then held on for a 106-99 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers that allowed the Warriors to win the season series from the Pacific Division-leading Clippers.
The Warriors, who entered the game as the only team to have beaten the Clippers twice this season, made it three of four as Stephen Curry and Jarrett Jack led a rally from a seven-point, fourth-quarter deficit.
The Warriors' big run came after Blake Griffin fed Eric Bledsoe for an interior hoop that gave the Clippers a 95-92 lead with 3:38 to go.
Jack began the game-swinging burst with a pair of free throws, and after Chris Paul misfired on a 3-pointer, Carl Landry converted inside off a Curry assist for a one-point Warriors lead at 96-95 with 2:52 to go.
Golden State never trailed again, extending the lead to four on a Curry 3-pointer with 1:25 to go after the Clippers failed to score on two possessions - a Griffin turnover and a Jamal Crawford floater in the lane.
When Griffin couldn't connect inside against Festus Ezeli's defense, the Warriors got the clincher from David Lee, who gathered himself after having a layup blocked by Griffin to follow in from close range for a 101-95 lead with just 1:03 remaining.
Making a late push for an All-Star spot on the eve of the coaches' vote for backups, Curry dominated his matchup with Paul to the tune of 28 points on 9-for-14 shooting, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range.
Jack contributed 18 points and 10 assists off the bench as Golden State won for a 25th time this season and moved within six games of the Clippers in the Pacific Division.
Klay Thompson also had 18 points for the Warriors, and Lee, another All-Star hopeful, overcame 5-for-16 shooting to produce a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double.
Griffin paced the Clippers with 26 points on 11-for-18 shooting and Crawford poured in six 3-pointers en route to 24 points off the L.A. bench. But the Clippers got almost nothing from a hobbling Paul, who showed signs of his recent bruised knee injury while struggling through a 1-for-7, four-point afternoon.
The Warriors found themselves in a comeback mode late as the result of a cold spell late in the third period.
Golden State led by as many as 11 in the first half and was still up 69-62 after a Thompson hoop at the 5:10 mark of the third period.
But the Clippers dominated the rest of the quarter at both ends of the floor, outscoring Golden State 18-4, including 12-0 as the Warriors finished the period with four missed shots and two turnovers in their last six possessions.
L.A. took an 80-73 advantage into the fourth quarter, but it was just a two-point game in less than three minutes as Jack hit two jumpers and assisted in a Curry 3 in a 7-2 flurry that closed the gap to 82-80.
The only thing hot about the first half was the first-quarter shooting, during which the teams combined to miss just 10 of their 36 shots en route to a 33-all tie.
Things cooled down considerably in the second period until the Warriors attempted to take advantage of the Clippers' poor free-throw shooting. Golden State intentionally fouled Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in the final 49.5 seconds of the half, each one prompting an additional penalty.
The foul on Griffin occurred in transition as the power forward attacked the hoop. Jack prevented the layup with a football-style, shoulder-to-the-ribs chuck, for which he was nailed with a flagrant foul.
Shortly thereafter, with the Clippers holding the ball for a final shot, the Warriors ran at Jordan and took an intentional foul with 4.0 seconds left. The big guy took exception to the ploy, shoving Golden State's Draymond Green into the stands and drawing a technical foul.
Curry made Golden State's free throws, which provided the difference in a 53-52 half.
Notes: The NBA's All-Star reserves are scheduled to be announced Thursday, with the coaches' ballots due Wednesday morning. The Warriors' next game is Wednesday night at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder. ... Monday's contest tipped off a back-to-back sequence for the Clippers, who host the Thunder on Tuesday night. ... Not wanting to play Grant Hill on consecutive days this early into his recovery from a bruised knee, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro gave the veteran Monday off. ... Del Negro also noted that Chris Paul, who had sat out three consecutive games with a bruised knee before returning Saturday against the Washington Wizards, will be re-evaluated Tuesday morning before a decision is made about his availability for the Thunder game. ... Already assured of having two All-Stars with Paul and Griffin named to the Western Conference starting lineup, Del Negro labeled high-scoring reserve Jamal Crawford "definitely worthy of an All-Star spot." The Clippers mailed a promotional flyer to every Western Conference team over the weekend, trumpeting Crawford's cause. ... For the fourth straight home game dating back to Jan. 9, injured Warriors center Andrew Bogut took the court about two hours before tipoff for some shooting and light footwork drills. Asked on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday if cared to project when his big man will return from his foot injury, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said, "There'll be no pressure on him. ... (I) look forward to having him one day, whenever that day comes. I, like Dr. King, have a dream."

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