Well, that escalated quickly. It was a relatively calm, cool and collected game between the Clippers and Warriors on Thursday night at Oracle — until it wasn’t. And once the game got a little chippy, shall we say, the Warriors took control and rode it to a xxx-xxx victory, their 10th straight over the Clippers.
Everything changed with 8:11 remaining in the third quarter. That’s when Blake Griffin and Draymond Green collided, in what looked to be a play where Green was trying to draw an offensive foul away from the ball. But Green got called for a foul and all hell broke loose.
Green, as he is wont to do, lost it and got a technical foul. Quite frankly, he was lucky he wasn’t ejected as he was barely able to contain himself, either verbally or physically. But that play and the ensuing emotion really got the Warriors into things, not to mention the sellout crowd.
The Warriors had already cut what was a 16-point lead down to five when the play in question occurred. By the end of the third quarter, the Warriors were up 99-87, courtesy of a 50-point third quarter. Yeah, 50!
Curry had 20 of his 35 points in the period, and the Warriors went 9-for-15 from beyond the arc in the quarter. Curry was flat-out ridiculous in the quarter, and he capped it off with a buzzer-beater to finish the period — from about 35 feet and wearing a couple of Clippers players.
Kevin Durant, who finished with 25 points, fell awkwardly on his left hand in the first quarter, and when he came out of the game, headed right to the Warriors’ locker room. X-rays were negative and Durant was diagnosed with a pinky contusion. He checked back into the game early in the second quarter.
David West, who missed the previous 14 games because of a left thumb injury, returned on Thursday night as did Zaza Pachulia, who had been out with a shoulder injury.