Golden State Warriors deal Clippers first loss of season, 112-108
The reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors beat the Clippers, 112-108, in a game that had 17 lead changes and included double-figure leads by both teams.
Entering Wednesday’s game, the bitter rivals were the only undefeated teams in the Western Conference.
With 32.6 seconds left and the Clippers trailing, 108-106, Blake Griffin fumbled the ball while dribbling it. The officials reviewed the play, determined it was off of the Warriors, and awarded the Clippers the ball. Chris Paul then missed a three-pointer with 19.8 seconds left. Stephen Curry responded by making a pair of free throws to put the Warriors up by four, and the Clippers couldn’t recover.
The Warriors led by as many as 17 points in the second quarter. But the Clippers clawed their way back, going on an 11-0 run with just under two minutes left in the third quarter to take a 79-77 lead -- their first lead since the first quarter -- after Jamal Crawford banked in a jumper. The Clippers entered the fourth quarter ahead by one point, 83-82, marking the first time this season that the Warriors trailed after three quarters.
The Clippers took their biggest lead of the game at 10 points, 97-87, with less than eight minutes left after an 8-0 run that included back-to-back three-pointers from Wesley Johnson and Josh Smith as well as a layup from Jamal Crawford. The Warriors responded with a 14-1 run to take a 103-101 lead with less than five minutes left.
Chris Paul led the Clippers with 24 points on nine-for-16 shooting and nine assists, though the All-Star point guard missed two critical free throws down the stretch. Griffin had 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Curry had 31 points for the Warriors, making seven of his 11 three-point shots.
The Warriors beat the Clippers in three of the four games they played last season.
The Clippers (4-1) will return home to host Houston at Staples Center on Saturday in what will be another big game. The Rockets eliminated the Clippers from the second round of the playoffs last season, becoming just the ninth team in NBA history to recover from a 3-1 series deficit to win a series.
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