We were seriously just here with these two teams. Some things were different in this 3rd matchup of the season between the Warriors and the Clippers: Warriors All-Star PF Draymond Green was out, along with C Zaza Pachulia and backup guard Shaun Livingston. As expected, the Clippers went with Raymond Felton at PG and Austin Rivers at SF, bumping Luc Mbah a Moute out of the rotation for the most part. And the Warriors started rookie Patrick McCaw at SF, moving Kevin Durant to PF next to C JaVale McGee.
But the ultimate result has been the same for 9 games now: the Warriors scoring a lot of points and beating the Clippers. This ties the longest winning streak the Warriors have had over the Clippers since the Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984; the Warriors also beat the Clippers 9 straight times from February 1986 to April 1987.
Top Performer: Warriors PF Stephen Curry had his worst three-point percentage (30.0 percent, out of 10 attempts) since shooting only 28.6 percent at Cleveland on Christmas. No matter – Chef Curry still had copious amounts of buckets, setting a season-high streak with his 4th straight double-digit FG performance by making 11-of-23 from the field. Curry led the Warriors with 29 points, and still found time to clown yet again at STAPLES Center…
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) February 3, 2017
X-Factor: There’s no way around it – the Clippers have nothing for the Warriors defensively at the moment. Golden State shot 52.5 percent from the field on 99 attempts. That’s the highest FG percentage by a team that attempted at least 99 shots since March 2014. LA’s defense got worse as the game went on, too. Here are the Warriors FG percentages by quarter:
- 1st: 48.1
- 2nd: 50.0
- 3rd: 55.6
- 4th: 57.1
Major Moment: This game was really over early, and it was due to the play of McGee. In the first 11 minutes of the contest, both teams shot 50.0 percent from the field, but the Warriors were up 31-17. McGee was 3-of-3 from the field with 6 rebounds; during that same stretch to open the game, the Clippers had 4 rebounds as a team, with PF Blake Griffin and C DeAndre Jordan combining for zero. Golden State’s overall rebounding advantage was 12-4 early, and the Clippers had more turnovers (7) than made FGs (6). Golden State’s lead fluctuated between 4 and 21 points in the final three quarters, but LA’s lack of possessions put them in a hole that they were never going to get out of.
Key Lineups: This was a tale of two starting lineups. McCaw and McGee did well as starters for the Warriors, as that unit outscored LA 25-13 in 8 minutes, compiling a net rating of 52.1. LA had 0 assists and 6 turnovers against the Warriors starters.
LA was successful at Phoenix with the Felton-Redick-Rivers-Griffin-Jordan lineup, but it was outscored 41-34 in 14 minutes on the floor together against the Warriors, compiling a net rating of -19.5.
The Definition: The Clippers have one more trip to the Bay Area to visit the Warriors this month. While it is encouraging that Griffin scored a team season-high of 31 points, it is clear that the Clippers won’t come close to being able to check Golden State without PG Chris Paul. On the flip side, Golden State was missing arguably half their rotation, and they had little problem keeping their streak going against LA.
“We obviously miss everything that [Draymond Green] does, whether it’s distributing or handling the ball, defending five different positions, or rebounding,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “But, we do have a lot of depth and can play a lot of people and count on a lot of guys.”
The Clippers will go back out on the road for five more games, making Thursday night’s home game at STAPLES just another stop in a stretch of 11 games in 11 different arenas.