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
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