Series starts 10/31
|Game 1: Thursday, October 31st|
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|Game 2: Wednesday, December 25th|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 3: Thursday, January 30th|
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|Game 4: Wednesday, March 12th|
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10:30 PM ET, December 25, 2013
ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA
Coach Doc Rivers is equally as irritated -- and believes the Warriors tried to get Griffin thrown out.
Griffin and Golden State's Draymond Green were long gone before a wild finish Wednesday night, when Klay Thompson blocked a shot by Chris Paul with 1 second left then contested Jamal Crawford's 3-pointer that fell short at the final buzzer to send the Warriors past Los Angeles 105-103.
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Griffin was ejected for his second technical with 10:43 remaining after scuffling with Andrew Bogut, following Green to the showers after they got into it at the end of the third. Green was tossed for a flagrant 2 foul.
"If you look at it, I didn't do anything and I got thrown out of the game. It all boils down to they (referees) fell for it," Griffin said. "To me, it's cowardly basketball. I don't know their intentions, but it worked. ... If I knew the answer I'd probably be in a different position. Tonight I got two technicals for nothing."
Without Griffin, the Clippers missed too many chances in the waning moments.
Paul's lay-in with 11.9 seconds left went around the rim and out, but Andre Iguodala missed a pair of free throws with 9.3 seconds remaining. That gave the Clippers the ball back with 8.3 seconds to go.
Stephen Curry overcame a slow start to score seven of his 15 points over the final 3:01 to go with 11 assists as Golden State snapped the Pacific Division-leading Clippers' season-best five-game winning streak. Thompson finished with 23 points and David Lee had 23 points and 13 rebounds.
When the game ended, players tangled near the tunnel to the Clippers' locker room and security personnel stepped in -- and former Warriors swingman Stephen Jackson could be seen screaming in the middle of it all.
Whether the Warriors intended to ignite Griffin, Rivers can only guess.
"I don't know if they were but it sure looked like it. I can't accuse them of that but it looked like it. I'm not sure but that's what it looked like," Rivers said. "It's whatever you have to do to win, I guess."
Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports
Blake Griffin and Andrew Bogut got into a scuffle in the fourth quarter, resulting in Griffin's ejection. The Warriors' Draymond Green was sent to the locker room in the third.
This one was sure was feisty and festive from the opening tipoff at sold-out Oracle Arena, where fans wore "Christmas Whiteout" snowflake Warriors T-shirts for the holiday occasion.
Paul had 26 points and 11 assists as he and Curry put on a late-game show between two of the Western Conference's top point guards. Griffin added 20 points, 14 rebounds and five assists before his early exit.
Bogut added 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Neither Rivers nor Warriors coach Mark Jackson is ready to deem this a California rivalry just yet -- not until both teams are consistent contenders year after year, they say.
It's certainly getting heated enough to be close to such status. And they see each other twice more. The Clippers come back Jan. 30.
"We like them. Merry Christmas," Jackson said jokingly. "It's just physical basketball, so we don't get caught up in that. ... It's good, old-fashioned basketball between two teams that are playing for something."
Griffin was held back by teammates at the end of the third quarter while jawing with Green. Following a review, Griffin received a technical and Green was ejected for a flagrant foul 2 after throwing an elbow.
"You have some key matchups in the game where guys want to go at each other," Green said. "Any time you have that, you're going to have a tough, hard-nosed game."
Then, officials went to review once more to look at a tussle between Griffin and Bogut. Griffin left the game while Bogut was hit with a flagrant 1 and a technical.
The Clippers, who never trailed in the first half, took a 77-74 lead into the see-saw fourth. They dropped to 19-3 when leading after three quarters and 8-3 on the road.
Los Angeles beat Golden State 126-115 at home on Oct. 31 to hand the Warriors their first loss a day after a season-opening win against the Lakers.
Curry performed when it mattered, though he is shooting just 9 for 44 in three Christmas games. Lee and Bogut each have double digits in rebounds in 10 straight games.
Golden State grabbed its first lead at the 10:35 mark in the third on Bogut's running jumper and began the second half with an 11-6 spurt.
The Warriors were 22 for 52 in the first half -- taking more shots than the Clippers' 21 of 40 -- but Lee's dunk pulled Golden State within 53-51 at halftime.
Former Warriors G Matt Barnes got some Christmas boos when he checked in for the Clippers midway through the first, while Antawn Jamison still gets his due respect. ... The Warriors played their 23rd Christmas game and third in four years after having Christmas off for 26 years. They lost their previous Dec. 25 outing to the Clippers 105-86 at Oracle -- Los Angeles' last on Golden State's home floor -- to start the lockout-shortened 66-game 2011-12 season. ... The Warriors haven't lost a season series to the Clippers since 2005-06. Golden State was one of only two teams along with the Thunder to take three of four from Los Angeles last season.
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 25: Santa Claus waves to the fans before the Los Angeles Clippers play the Golden State...(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Around The Association
MVP:. Andrew Bogut. The 10 points and 14 rebounds (6 offensive) are nice, but Bogut's impact -- predictably-- went well beyond the box score. The Aussie goaded Blake Griffin into his second technical and an ejection in the third quarter, and set a physical, aggressive tone for a Warriors team that drastically needed a statement win.
Defining moment:. Fourth quarter, time winding down and his team down by two points, Chris Paul drove the lane and had his shot blocked by Klay Thompson. The Clippers inbounded the ball with one second remaining and found an open Jamal Crawford behind a double-screen, but his high-arching, desperation jumper came up just a few inches short.
That was ... a rivalry. This game will be remembered for its dramatic finish, but was highlighted most by all-encompassing tension from the opening tip. After two ejections, two technical fouls, two flagrant fouls and the ring of the final buzzer, the Warriors and Clippers weren't done: they had to be separated while leaving the floor.
Next 5 Games
With Paul guarding him, Curry was 2-of-10 from the floor with 5 points and no free-throw attempts. When Paul picked up his 4th foul at the 8:04 mark in the 4th quarter, Darren Collison switched to defend Curry. That foul forced the Clippers to switch Darren Collison to defend Curry and Curry answered by scoring 7 of the final 9 points going 3-of-5 (2-of-2 FT) from the floor.[+]
Stephen Curry Offense by Defender, Wednesday
Chris Paul missed three game-tying shots in the final minute against the Warriors Wednesday and is 0-for-4 on game-tying or go-ahead shots in the final minute of games this season. He made 13 game-tying or go-ahead shots in the previous two seasons, tied with Kevin Durant for the third-most in the NBA.
ESPN Stats & Information