Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/6/13
LOS ANGELES -- There was a time when a two-game losing streak was just a sign of things to come for the Los Angeles Clippers, a mini-slide that started a mudslide that started an avalanche. Now for the scorching Clippers, two meaningless losses are but a light drizzle. Chris Paul scored 27 points and Blake Griffin added 20 as the Los Angeles Clippers, who built a 23-point halftime lead, cruised to the 115-89 win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night at the Staples Center. The Clippers went into attack mode early against a Warriors squad that had already beaten them twice this season, including a 21-point loss at Golden State on Wednesday. Los Angeles used a 15-0 run midway through the first quarter to seize control, eventually building a 35-12 lead on a Matt Barnes tip-in with 1.8 seconds left in the quarter. "It was a business trip for us," Griffin said. "That's how we want to win games. We want to take care of games early. We remembered Wednesday. Wednesday's game was pretty fresh in our minds." The Clippers held the Warriors to 18.2 percent shooting in the first quarter as leading scorers David Lee and Stephen Curry had zero points on a combined 0-for-9 shooting. Golden State responded with a 31-point second quarter on 55.6 percent shooting, but that mattered little -- Los Angeles scored 32 points and shot 57 percent from the field, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range. "That was our concern," Lee said. "We thought with them being on short rest, that if we could stay in the game, we could grind it out in the end. But we had to make sure they didn't get off to a good start, and they did just that. Not only did they hit shots in the first quarter and we gave up way too many points, but about halfway through the first quarter we had six points, and that's not our normal way of playing basketball." With top reserve Jamal Crawford, the NBA's best bench scorer, sidelined with a sore foot, the Clippers once again turned to their dangerous one-two punch to take their team-record 12th straight home win. Paul scored 10 of his 27 points in the third quarter, and hit 10-of-12 shots from the field to lead seven Clippers in double-figures. He had five of Los Angeles' 10 3-pointers and added nine assists. "These guys beat us pretty bad a few days ago," Paul said. "But after an emotional win over the Lakers last night, it was a big win tonight." Griffin scored 16 points in the first half, and added seven assists and five rebounds. He has 44 points in his last two games after totaling 29 in the Clippers previous three contests, which included two losses. DeAndre Jordan added 13 points and eight rebounds and Eric Bledsoe had 17 points off the bench for Los Angeles, which had 21 fast-break points and 29 assists but only seven turnovers. "There are going to be nights when you win by 30 and there are going to be nights where everything you do is wrong and guys are banking in threes from top of key and outplaying you on every possession," Lee said. "They were the better team tonight." The Warriors had nine players with at least six points, but none with more than Klay Thompson's 14. Curry and Lee each had 10 points but combined for just 7-of-21 shooting, and Harrison Barnes had 11 points. Warriors coach Mark Jackson was surprised by his team's lackadaisical offensive performance, but more surprised by the defensive effort, or lack thereof. "We're a good shooting team, so I would say yes, but more so surprised that they were the team that had us on our heels," Jackson said. "They got over 30 points in three quarters -- that's not our brand of defense and that's not our style. They played like they wanted to send a message." NOTES: Curry exploded for 25 first-half points and finished with 31 in the Warriors' 115-94 win over the Clippers, Los Angeles' worst loss of the season. He had 23 in Golden State's win over the Clippers on Nov. 3. ... Los Angeles' two losses to the Warriors this year are 25 percent of their total losses. ... The two teams split their season series in 2011-12, with two wins each. ... Golden State has out-rebounded, out-assisted and out-shot the opponent 12 times this year, their most since 2007-08. ... The two teams rank seventh (Golden State, 101.8 points per game) and eighth (Clippers, 101.1), respectively, in the NBA in scoring. ... Andrew Bogut (left ankle) and Brandon Rush (torn ACL/MCL) remain out for the Warriors. ... Chauncey Billups (left foot peroneal tendinitis), Grant Hill (knee) and Trey Thompkins (knee) remain out for the Clippers.
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