George, Clippers defeat Warriors with late three-pointer
Paul George hit a stepback 3-pointer for the Clippers' first lead of the game and they hung on for a 113-112 victory Saturday after trailing by 22 points in the second half.
“We just didn’t give up," he said. “That’s what it takes.”
“This was a gutsy win for us and we needed a win like this,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said.
“I was looking at Steph the whole time, Steph’s looking at me," George said. “I was looking to go to the rim. Steph kind of held in the paint waiting for my drive. At that point it was just try to create space for the 3.”
After a timeout, Curry got into the paint, got double-teamed and passed to Draymond Green, who missed a potential game-winning 3 at the buzzer. The Warriors made 17 3-pointers in the game, with four each by Green, Curry and Klay Thompson.
“He’s a great player and can shoot the ball anywhere on the floor and off one leg. Just try to stay in front of him,” said Leonard, who was helping guard Curry at the end. “My teammates did a good job. Russ stepped up and made him think about it and he passed it to the corner.”
Curry led the Warriors with 22 points and 11 assists in his 900th NBA game. Green had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Moses Moody added 21 points and made 9 of 10 free throws.
The Warriors blew a huge lead for the second time this week, having lost a 24-point advantage against Sacramento on Tuesday.
“It felt like we deserved this one,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
The Clippers avenged a 120-114 loss to Golden State two days earlier in San Francisco.
“It’s big,” Leonard said. “We’ve been trying to be consistent. We’re getting better but very slow. With the way things have been going it feels great to pull out a win. We just got to stay confident and stay motivated.”
The Warriors led 111-106 on a pair of free throws by Moody with 1:22 remaining. Harden scored to get the Clippers within striking distance before George's game-winning shot.
Thompson's 3-pointer pushed Golden State's lead to 98-88 early in the fourth. The Clippers ran off seven in a row to get within three.
Led by Harden's 15 points, the Clippers rallied from 22 points down to within two in the third. But Thompson hit a basket and a 3-pointer that kept the Warriors ahead 92-85 headed into the fourth.
The Warriors stretched their lead to 17 points in the second. The Clippers finally mustered a bit of momentum, outscoring Golden State 10-2 to cut their deficit to nine.
But Curry answered by scoring 10 of the Warriors' final 12 points, hitting consecutive 3-pointers, to send them into halftime leading 67-48. Five players combined to make 12 of 22 3s in the half, when the Warriors had 19 assists.
The Warriors set the tone offensively with Green's first 3-pointer to open the game. They hit seven 3s in the quarter, when they led by 13 points. Green sank back-to-back 3s that drew a loud reaction from a crowd that was full of Golden State fans. His four 3-pointers tied his career high for most in a quarter.
Warriors: Host Portland on Wednesday.
Clippers: Host Denver on Wednesday, nine days after blowing an 11-point lead and losing to the Nuggets.
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