The Los Angeles Clippers will seek to continue their recent mastery of the Golden State Warriors when they meet in a rematch Friday night in San Francisco.
Since losing to the Warriors in the 2019 playoffs, the Clippers have been undefeated against their Pacific Division rival, winning four straight.
Three of those wins have come in their only meetings at the 2-year-old Chase Center in San Francisco, with the latest being a 108-101 triumph Wednesday in the opener of this two-game set.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George scored 21 points apiece, and Nicolas Batum surprised the Warriors with two late 3-pointers. But the key to the Los Angeles victory was Patrick Beverley.
The defensive standout was at his best in his matchup with reigning NBA Player of the Week Stephen Curry, limiting the high-scoring Warriors guard to a season-low 13 points. One game removed from a 62-point effort against Portland on Sunday, Curry was harassed into 5-for-17 shooting overall and 1-for-6 on 3-pointers.
“Our philosophy is just we want to try and take the best player out because we know Steph can go for 60 like he did the other day,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue noted. “So we want to just make sure that we trap him, keep a body on him, be physical with him.”
Curry, however, is listed as questionable for the rematch after limping off the court late in Wednesday’s game.
Beverley also contributed to the Clippers’ late spurt with a 3-pointer that turned a 97-95 game into a five-point Clippers’ lead with 4:14 remaining. Batum then bombed in his game-breaking 3-pointers.
Los Angeles will be playing its first same-opponent, same-site sequence of the season. The Warriors had their first last week, when they rebounded at home from a 25-point loss to Portland two nights later with a 15-point win on Curry’s big night.
The difference in Wednesday’s game turned out to be at the free-throw line, where the Warriors have been strong in recent years and, in fact, were pretty good against the Clippers, shooting making 15 of 19 attempts.
But Los Angeles was far better, making all 25 of its attempts, led by George’s 9-for-9 and Leonard’s 7-for-7.
It was just the 24th time in Clippers history that they’d made all their foul shots in a game and, coincidentally, also the 24th time it was accomplished by a Warriors opponent.
The Clippers have now made 45 straight free throws against the Warriors, all at the Chase Center.
Golden State outshot Los Angeles 45.3 percent to 44.4 from the field.
“It was a good measuring stick for us tonight,” Warriors newcomer Kent Bazemore said. “We’re definitely a different team than we were a week and a half ago (after an 0-2 start), and (Curry) probably won’t have 13 points again, and to still have a chance, there says a lot about us defensively.”
The Clippers, who swept the three-game season series from the Warriors last season, have an average margin of victory of 16.7 points at Golden State’s new home.
–Field Level Media