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Los Angeles Clippers 92 FinalRecap | Box Score 111 Golden State Warriors
David Lee, PF 36 MIN | 10-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 11 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | +19This is the Lee we were praising on the extended road trip just weeks ago. Lee looked every bit the All-Star that Blake Griffin was on Thursday night, producing an efficient night on both ends of the floor for his most complete game on the homestand. Lee is showing growing confidence in his midrange jumper, making shots from every angle outside the paint. Lee’s confidence is easily visible: he doesn’t hesitate and shoots the jumper much more fluidly. While we like to harp on Lee for his defense — and even he joked about it postgame — he’s done a great job in recent games of guarding the elite forwards of the Western Conference: LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin. He was staying down on Griffin, moving with him wherever he went and while Griffin ended with 27 points, only 4 of his 11 baskets came from the painted area. Lee didn’t make the All-Star team this season, as there were simply too many great big men in the conference to warrant a selection, but Lee has made it known that when he’s engaged on defense and aggressive on offense, he stacks up with the best of them.
Andre Iguodala, SF 30 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +19This was a perturbing night for Iguodala: of his three field goals, two were dunks and with only three assists he hardly had the production dishing the ball like he normally does. He didn’t have a bad game by any stretch, it was just another game where everyone else contributed offensively and Andre played the role of facilitator and stout defender on the other end. Besides Griffin and JJ Redick — at least without Chris Paul — don’t have consistent offensive weapons that deserve constant attention. Matt Barnes is hardly the player that he was and Jared Dudley has becoming more and more of a disappointment as the games go on. There was no Paul George or Kevin Durant on the other wise, but Andre didn’t mind. By the way, how nice was it to see Iguodala dunk again? We were so accustomed to seeing him throw them down in Phildelphia, and while he’s now 30 years old, we were promised an athletic wing on both ends of the floor. Seeing both Iguodala and Barnes fly was fun to watch.
Andrew Bogut, C 28 MIN | 7-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 17 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +18What more can Bogut do? While Stephen Curry will get the accolades and national attention, Bogut gets my first-half MVP for the season. Bogut was everywhere: grabbing rebounds on both ends, setting hard screens, playing tough defense on Griffin in the first half and even hitting a 20-footer! Griffin took Bogut out of the paint, making seven shots from outside the paint and showing off his improved stroke. But, this kept the Clippers out of the bonus, and when Bogut picked up his fifth foul Lee came in and continued the impressive display of team defense. Rebounding has been an issue of late as well, but the Warriors handled the drained Clippers — this was their fourth game in five nights — on the glass by out-rebounding them 53-34 (16-8 on the offensive glass). The Aussie’s exceptional season continues.
Stephen Curry, PG 34 MIN | 8-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 22 PTS | +23You want efficiency? How about 80% from the field, 4-4 from deep to go along with a couple of free throws? Curry abused Darren Collison, Willie Green and anyone else that got in his way on Thursday night. Curry blew by Collison multiple times on drives to the rim and took advantage of a gassed Clippers frontline as they were constantly quick to foul and slowly to rotate. Curry can get 22 points anytime he wants, but it was great to see him get this output this way instead of the usual way: forcing up shots, little ball movement, maximum isolation and tough drives to the lane. The Warriors ball movement was incredible tonight and showed how dangerous this team can be when they’re executing on offense and disciplined on defense.
Klay Thompson, SG 34 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +16Thompson was tasked with chasing around JJ Redick, which isn’t the easiest of covers at the shooting-guard position. Thompson, per usual, did a stellar job on Redick as he limited Redick in most halfcourt situations. What reared its ugly head back to Warriors’ fans faces: Klayups. I’m not sure whether it’s mental or if Thompson really does prefers layups to dunks (he did have two dunks tonight as well), but you expect him to make those shots anytime he has a clear look at the basket. Thompson has the ultimate green light, and while he can still pass out of some of the shots he normally takes to initiate ball movement and find a better shot, his miscues Thursday night weren’t detrimental to the team.

Quote of the game: 

It hasn’t been a happy place around here the last couple days. A lot of guys are edgy right now, not in great moods because we haven’t been playing good basketball, and that’s good in my opinion. We had a pretty rough shootaround this morning. Guys got after each other, and coaches were getting after us. We responded well as a team, and we have to build on this tomorrow and get good rest on the weekend and keep pushing towards the break. — Andrew Bogut

Looking ahead: The Warriors quickly head to Utah for the second leg of a back-to-back for a matchup with the Jazz to closeout the week. Next week they have three games (CHA, CHI, @PHO) as they inch closer to the All-Star Break.

Your #FullSquad shot chart of the night:

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The Black Falcon soars again:

That wasn’t very nice Steph:

Your Harrison Barnes update of the night: How great was that second quarter? You can’t help but feel happy for Barnes in that second quarter as he showed once again why the Warriors have continued to show faith in their struggling second-year forward. Barnes took advantage of the tired Clippers and drove to the rim at will on multiple occasions. He was found cutting to the basket and slashing through the paint, dunking twice and getting the Oracle crow up on its feet for the loudest cheers of the night.

He was aggressive, but more importantly he was smart about his aggressiveness. He wasn’t being fed at the elbow as much and didn’t settle for as many post-ups. He didn’t make a shot in the second half because he started to settle on his old ways, but the fact that we saw something reminiscent of the Barnes we saw last April/May is a good sign for the future. Jackson reiterated before the game that Barnes’ minutes won’t diminish, and this was an encouraging night for what has been an awful season.

Maybe all Barnes needed was an invite to the Rising Stars Challenge, because something got into Barnes on Thursday night. Warriors fans don’t care what it was, but this was his best game of the new year. Will he continue to stay smart on the offensive end and learn to play disciplined on the defensive end are questions for the future, but for one night we aren’t screaming “What happened to Harrison!?”

Your bonus dunk of the night, courtesy of JR Smith:

Tweets of the night: 

One Response

  1. Dennis Towns

    Your summary is spot on as usual Jordan, always a fantastic read.
    Glad you can look beyond the glitz to fully understand Bogut’s value to this team. I am so happy finally for his health. His offensive scoring and rebounding contribution is consistent and actually fantastic considering that he has not had a post up called since December and spends most of his time setting screens above the 3 pt line for Steph and Klank (sorry – but he must be benched now and earn his shots and minutes). His FT% can improve, but needs to have some real plays and touches and get to the line more than 2 times every 10 games – no rhythm/confidence. If he gets to 50%, well Shaq won 4 rings with that.
    Steph is great, but if he went down for a dozen games now, the Warriors still have the (theoretical) pieces for a winning record. If Bogut goes down, the Warriors will need to score 120+ per night to have any chance at all.
    I agree he is the Warriors MVP this season so far and I would be sure the true leader of the team.
    Will save you the trouble, you need to score him another A+ for the Jazz game.