Preview: Golden State At L.A. Clippers
When: 8:30 PM ET, Saturday, February 20, 2016
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Golden State Warriors are coming off their worst loss of the campaign and look to avoid consecutive defeats for the first time this season when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. Golden State was trounced 137-105 by the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday as it was Portland star Damian Lillard impersonating reigning MVP Stephen Curry by scoring a career-best 51 points and knocking down nine 3-pointers.
The Warriors trailed by six at halftime before unraveling in the third quarter and committing 13 turnovers – the most in a single quarter of any NBA game since 2008 – while being outscored 36-17. “I’m OK with the other team making shots, what I’m not OK with is losing our poise in the third quarter and making 13 turnovers in one quarter,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said afterward. “We totally lost our poise and that was the most disappointing thing.” The Clippers have won eight of their last 10 games and dismantled the San Antonio Spurs 105-86 on Thursday behind 28 points and 12 assists from point guard Chris Paul. “Chris has been great all season, especially since Blake’s been down,” center DeAndre Jordan told reporters in referencing forward Blake Griffin, out for nearly two months with quadriceps and hand injuries. “He’s had to step it up even more offensively and defensively for us, being more of a scorer and a playmaker for us. He’s doing his job every night, and it’s great to watch.”
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ABC
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (48-5): Golden State certainly didn’t look ready for Portland’s assault in its first game coming out of the All-Star break while giving up a season high point total and the defeat diminishes the chances of the squad surpassing the 72-win mark held by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. Those Bulls also were 48-5 after 53 games but Golden State finds itself in a stretch in which the contest against the Clippers is the third of a seven-game road trip. Shooting guard Klay Thompson said “we weren’t as focused as we should be,” while discussing the rare defeat and Curry was miffed by the uncharacteristic loss of composure.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (36-18): Forward Jeff Green will make his Los Angeles debut after being acquired from Memphis for forward Lance Stephenson and a future first-round pick prior to Thursday’s trading deadline. Green, who is averaging 12.2 points, played under coach Doc Rivers for 1 1/2 years with the Boston Celtics earlier in his career and was stunned to be traded at midseason for the third time in his career. “I know it’s a business first and foremost,” Green told reporters after Friday’s practice. “I’m going to a great situation here in L.A. I’m happy and I’m excited for the opportunity I have here and the opportunity the team has trying to win a championship.”
1. The Warriors have won the past four meetings and averaged 118 points in this season’s two victories.
2. Curry made seven 3-pointers in the loss to Portland to raise his season total to 252 – the fourth straight season he has topped 250 and only the seventh time it has been done in NBA history.
3. Jordan had 17 rebounds against the Spurs for his 11th consecutive double-digit performance on the boards.
PREDICTION: Clippers 111, Warriors 109