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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 2nd (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (25-7) at Golden State Warriors (21-10), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers won't have a long time to sulk about their 17-game winning streak ending, as they head to Oracle Arena to meet the Golden State Warriors.
The Clippers' winning ways came to an end on Tuesday night thanks to a 92-78 setback in Denver to the Nuggets.
"We know we didn't play well tonight," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We didn't deserve to win because we didn't play hard enough or efficient enough."
The Nuggets scored 54 points in the paint and the Clippers did themselves in with a poor shooting performance. Los Angeles shot 38.5 percent from the field and only four Clippers scored in double-figures, led by 12 apiece from Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe.
It all added up to the most lopsided loss of the season for the Clippers.
There's no time for the Clippers to cry about the win streak ending. They head to Golden State for a crucial Pacific Division matchup between the leading Clips and the second-place Warriors.
"We're not going to sit and cry on the plane and get down or cause this to hurt out confidence, despite what people want to see it do," said Griffin. "You're only as good as your last game, so right now people want us to be down on ourselves and we've got to pop back up."
The Warriors have won three in a row and six of their last eight. They picked up their 20th win of the season on Friday over the Philadelphia 76ers and it marked the first time since the 1980-81 season the Warriors won 20 games before New Year's Day.
"Bottom line is, it's been a great year for us - 2012 has been really good to us," said head coach Mark Jackson. "We will put it behind us and look forward to doing great things in 2013. I'm extremely proud of this group. I know it sounds like a broken record, but I really believe that bigger things lie ahead than what we just accomplished."
Golden State's most recent victory came Saturday over the Boston Celtics, 101-83. The Warriors built a 17-point halftime lead, coughed a chunk of it up in the third quarter, then won the final frame by nine to win going away.
Steph Curry led the way with 22 points and nine assists. David Lee had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists and Harrison Barnes, Jarrett Jack and Klay Thompson all reached double-digits.
"We did a great job of sharing the basketball, being unselfish and making plays for one another," said Jackson. "We just made good reads coming out of our sets. This is a very good defensive team that gets after you."
The Warriors shot 52.1 percent from the field and registered 21 assists.
The Warriors beat the Clippers, 114-110, on Nov. 3 in Los Angeles. Prior to that victory, these two teams had split the last 12.
01/02 10:32:34 ET