Sliding over Phoenix’s Chris Paul’s San Francisco baseline late Monday night, Stephen Curry claimed a basket and the last word.
“It’s not 2014,” the Golden State star told his longtime feuder as the cameras rolled.
Paul later claimed that he did not know the reference, but on his podcast, Curry’s Warriors teammate Draymond Green explained the secret meaning – that it was from then on that Paul could be considered the better player.
The comment was made inside the Chase Center. felt in the hearts of the clippers,
Nine years ago, headlined by Paul at point guard, the Clippers were on the rise. Even the fallout of former owner Donald Sterling’s suspension on the eve of the post-season was not enough to prevent them from winning the first round series against Curry and Golden State.
But while the Clippers never quite got over the post-season hump, Golden State has climbed the NBA pennant four times since then. The 2014 series against Paul and the Clippers remains the last seven-game series lost by the Warriors to a Western Conference opponent. Even in the midst of a Jekyll and Hyde 2022-23 season in which the Warriors are 29-7 at home and 7-26 on the road entering Wednesday, the Warriors remain the standard against which all West challengers are measured, a The final boss of the video game is hidden behind. Curry’s ever-present ability to provide an offensive explosion.
If Wednesday’s meeting of the teams at the Crypto.com Arena represents a mental test, more importantly, it is practical.
With the teams entering with identical records and the Clippers needing a win to keep alive their hopes of claiming the tiebreaker, Curry, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole arrived as the perfect stress test to see whether the Clippers, and the superior defense that His three-game winning streak was for real.
he answered with a 134-126 winCurry’s one-man show between Kawhi Leonard and coach Tyronn Lue earned him his fourth consecutive win, making 20 of 28 shots, including eight three-pointers, to finish with 50 points.
“It’s not the first time I see (Steph) explode in a quarter,” Leonard said. “Being there first, it helps you stay focused in the moment.”
In their five-game losing streak that began after last month’s All-Star break, sure victories had vanished in clutch moments. He has flipped to start a new streak. The Clippers committed only one turnover in the second half. He captured 16 aggressive rebels. Russell Westbrook played perhaps the most disciplined game of his Clippers tenure, with zero turnovers.
The win separated the Clippers (37-33) and Warriors (36-34) in the standings and a closing lineup of Eric Gordon (16 points) and Terrence Mann (17 points) paired with Ivica Zubac (17 points) Again displayed positive returns. 19 points, 16 rebounds), Leonard (30 points) and Paul George (24 points, seven assists).
“I think we’re starting to know our instincts, know when someone’s going to pass you the ball or they’re going to make a cut — those are all things that are tied into chemistry and that feed off of each other.” is built to play with,” Leonard said.
For three quarters, a pattern developed: Golden State won the opening minutes off back-cuts and shotmaking, forcing quick timeouts by Lue. Then the Clippers were stagnant and pulling away, usually a product of their defense, before being reeled in by Curry and the Warriors for a frantic finish.
Following the Warriors’ 7–0 run two minutes after Lue’s timeout in the third quarter, the Clippers embarked on a 16–4 run, aided again by their defense. When George rebounded Green’s missed layup, he quickly found Gordon for a 27-foot three-pointer. When Zubac slid to swatt Kevon Looney’s layup attempt, Westbrook grabbed the loose ball and found Gordon again, this time for a 24-foot three-pointer and a 10-point lead.
They were reminders that the most striking element about their metamorphosis was not only that a defense that had languished since late December was back, but that it reappeared at key moments.
Since allowing a season-high 51 points in one quarter to Memphis, the Clippers had held opponents to 40% shooting or worse in seven of their past nine quarters entering Wednesday. And Memphis, Toronto and New York had shot a combined 31% in the fourth quarters of those three straight Clippers wins.
But as has been the case over the past decade, Curry stood between the Clippers and what they wanted.
Starting with his layup with 4:51 to play in the third quarter, the NBA’s all-time three-point king scored the next 12 points for Golden State, turning up the volume when he touched the ball and The circus explodes from a pair of shots. Fell because he exceeded 41 points. The Warriors shot 65% in the second quarter and 60% in the third as Curry made nine of 11 shots. They finished with 55% shooting, and still cut the Clippers’ lead to 12 to open the fourth quarter.
Then Curry checked back in. In a 72-second span, he deducted six points and the Clippers’ fitness to finish the job was again in question, as George’s ability with five fouls saved him from being sent off.
But the Clippers would not allow a single score of 3:41 with 1:13 remaining – a stand that allowed their lead to grow from six to 13, and with it their winning streak.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times,