Is it safe to say that the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors do not like each other?
The Warriors topped the Clippers in a 105-103 thriller on Christmas night in a game that featured two ejections and numerous scuffles, including one between Chris Paul and Andrew Bogut as the buzzer sounded. The win by Golden State snapped a five-game Los Angeles win streak.
Draymond Green was thrown out of the contest for elbowing Griffin at the end of the third quarter, and Griffin was ejected for picking up his second technical foul after getting tangled up with Bogut underneath the basket early in the fourth period.
Los Angeles had a 13-point lead in the second quarter but blew it as Golden State stormed back behind 23 points apiece from Klay Thompson and David Lee. Lee also had 13 rebounds.
Paul led LA with 26 points and dished out 11 assists.
The Dubs, who shot 42.1 percent from the floor, were able to win this game despite a miserable 5-of-17 shooting effort from Stephen Curry.
Let's break down the keys of this one.
Warriors Won the Rebounding Battle
The Warriors outrebounded the Clippers 49-38, hauling in 16 offensive boards to Los Angeles' six. Lee and Bogut combined for 27 rebounds, giving the duo 10 straight games with double digit efforts on the glass.
Despite the athleticism and length of LA's frontcourt, Bogut and Lee battled and battled, out-willing Griffin and DeAndre Jordan for most of the night.
The offensive rebounds created much-needed second opportunities for a Golden State team that struggled to put the ball in the hoop.
Klay Thompson Was Huge
With Curry struggling, Thompson picked up the slack.
The third-year guard was aggressive all night, going a respectable 10-of-22 from the floor and looking for his shot the entire game. He took the ball to the hoop, was active in running himself around screens and also made some great passes.
Curry did have a big final few minutes of the fourth quarter, but before that, Thompson was the man who drove the Warriors offense on this night.
Plus, Thompson had a huge block on a CP3 layup attempt with one second left in regulation.
Blake Griffin's Ejection
It was clear that the Clippers lost a vital part of their offense the second Griffin was tossed.
Blake was doing work in the post for most of the night, and when he was ejected about a minute-and-a-half into the fourth, he already had 20 points and 14 rebounds.
He was outmuscling anyone who defended him inside and was even knocking down 18-footers.
When Griffin was forced to exit, LA's offense revolved around its backcourt. This is going to be a problem for the Clips in the playoffs. They have no frontcourt depth behind Griffin. Not offensively, anyway.
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