Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 4/15/12
Forget the 13-0 run to start the game, the 10-of-11 start from the field or the 19-point first-quarter lead. Saturday, was going to be a fight. "I've watched too much basketball," guard Chris Paul said when asked if he thought it was going to be easy against the Warriors on Saturday. Paul sat on the bench in the second quarter and watched the Warriors hit eight shots from 3-point range, erasing almost the entire lead the Clippers' first team had built up. "Our second unit came in and let them get some confidence," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Our second group didn't do a very good job controlling the lead, and that was bothersome." But Paul wouldn't let this one slip away, as he scored seven consecutive points to open the fourth quarter, turning a small lead into a comfortable one. "This has been the story of our season," Paul said. "It is what it is. These type games right here, you just want to get a win." The Clippers did, 112-104. They host Oklahoma City on Monday. NOTES, QUOTES Clippers relish playoff race --While the tight race in the Western Conference could be a cause of stress for teams on the bubble, the Clippers are embracing the pressure-packed games. "We're playing some teams that are capable. We're playing against teams that our fighting for their lives," center DeAndre Jordan said. "It's not going to be a cake walk for us. We understand that the standings are so tight that one or two losses could mean two or three seeds." The Clippers are currently fourth in the West, one game behind the Lakers for the Pacific Division lead. Guard Chris Paul said the team would love to win the division, and "winning out" would give them the best chance. Regardless of the standings, coach Vinny Del Negro wants to see his team relish the final weeks of the season. "This is the best part of the year if you're a competitor," Del Negro said. "Being in a tight playoff race, getting ready for the playoffs, having to improve. Spotlight's on you. If you're a competitor, that's what you want. You want the ball. We'll see how it all comes out." --Following their win against Golden State and the Suns' loss Saturday, the Clippers' magic number stands at one. A win Monday would clinch a playoff berth. QUOTE TO NOTE: "Sky's the limit. I think when we play the way we're capable of, we've beaten some of the best teams in the league." --Clippers guard Chris Paul on his team's playoff chances. ROSTER REPORT PLAYER NOTES: --F Blake Griffin offset a tough 2-for-8 night from the line by hitting 9-of-14 from the field. Griffin finished with 20 points and nine rebounds in the Clippers' win over Golden State. --G Chris Paul continues to lead the Clippers over the final month of the season. Paul scored a team-high 28 points to go along with 13 assists and three steals as the Clippers won their third straight game. --C DeAndre Jordan was incredibly active early, scoring 13 of his 18 points in the first half. Jordan hadn't scored 18 points in a game since Feb. 4. --G Mo Williams scored 14 points in 25 minutes off the bench. Saturday was Williams' second game back since missing 11 with a sprained toe.
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