LOS ANGELES — Despite giving up 50 points to Steph Curry, the Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors, 134-126, to win their fourth straight game and move within a half game of moving into fourth place in the Western Conference.
The Clippers were able to withstand Curry’s 12th 50-point game thanks to Kawhi Leonard, who posted 30 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Paul George, who added 24 points, two rebounds, seven assists and one steal.
“Just being in the league, this isn’t my first time seeing [Curry] explode like that,” Leonard said. “Being there before, it kind of helps you stay focused on the moment and just know that he’s a great player and he’s going to make those shots.”
How it happened: Golden State took an 8-1 lead to start the game before the Clippers answered with a 7-0 run and ended the first quarter up 27-23. The Warriors went on to open the second quarter with a 13-4 run with Curry on the bench. That was followed by another 7-0 streak from the Clippers to finish the half leading, 61-58.
After scoring 11 in a row to open the second half, Los Angeles led Golden State, 77-70. Nicolas Batum sank a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter to give the Clippers their largest lead, 109-97. The Clippers would never look back and won, 134-126.
What it means: The Clippers now have a one-game lead on the Warriors in the Western Conference standings for the fifth seed and are just a half game behind the Suns for the fourth seed.
Hits: With Russell Westbrook attacking the glass on both end of the court and Ivica Zubac collecting 16 rebounds, the Clippers were able to hang on. Westbrook picked up seven assists without any turnovers and also managed to grab nine rebounds and two steals. Zubac led the team with 16 boards and added 19 points Eric Gordon and Terance Mann combined for 33 points off the bench.
Misses: Marcus Morris was ejected from the game in the second quarter after receiving a flagrant two foul and clashing with Draymond Green. Norman Powell and Brandon Boston Jr. continued to recover on the sidelines. Powell is set to have his shoulder re-evaluated Friday while Boston Jr. remains day-to-day.
Stat of the game: After facing the third highest ranking team in three-point scoring, the Clippers finished at 47% to equal the Warriors. The Clippers also only had 8 turnovers compared to Golden State’s 16.
Up next: The Clippers end their homestead Saturday against the Orlando Magic at 12 p.m. The Magic are on a five-game skid with their most recent loss coming against the Utah Jazz, 132-114. Orlando (28-41) sits in 13th in the Eastern Conference and will face the Suns Thursday before traveling to Los Angeles.