OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors were struggling, down 10 in the fourth quarter of their much-hyped hosting of the Clippers. Then, in a flash, they ripped the game away, surging ahead for the eventual 112-108 victory. That's what tends to happen at Oracle Arena, where Stephen Curry's Warriors can put the game on fast-forward and quickly out of reach. To use Doc Rivers' parlance, Golden State is quite lucky to employ a man who destroys defenses on shots that go the distance of touchdown passes.
"We don't really get concerned. Ten points? We cover 10 points in a couple minutes," a grinning Draymond Green said. Green played center during the comeback, a furious sequence in which scrambling defense stoked a wide-open offensive attack.
Green might not have been concerned, but he conceded being "pissed off" about the deficit. All the Warriors were; even normally relaxed interim coach Luke Walton was screaming and cursing in the huddle. A fire was lighted and the Clippers' lead turned to ash.
Curry, who hit three 3-pointers and scored 13 points in the fourth quarter -- all in the final six minutes -- provided much of the blaze. In his ridiculous season so far, he has scored 179 points in 159 minutes. That's staggering, but it gets even more preposterous when you factor this in: He did it on only 101 shots. He's operating on a level seldom, if ever, seen -- he might even be defining the level. Yet, for all the physics-taunting deep 3-pointers, Curry's reflections are dry and to the point.
"Hit some big shots to regain the lead and our defense really finished it out for us. Classic way to finish a game," Curry said.
Right before that answer, Curry and Harrison Barnes simultaneously slid into their evening jackets. "Is it denim night?" Barnes quipped, noting he and Curry were adorned in matching faded blue.
For a string of moments Barnes delivered a passable Curry imitation, scoring eight consecutive points to spark an inexorable Warriors comeback. His sequence of 3-pointers, another bucket and a block left the Clippers staggering.
It was a collective effort, though. Against a surprisingly invigorated Clippers bench, against Chris Paul and Blake Griffin playing well, Golden State needed more than only Curry and Barnes. Despite a lack of size, the Warriors' small-ball lineup blitzed the Clippers' offense, most notably on two key possessions: Andre Iguodala's thwarting of a Griffin drive, and Green's hounding of Paul on the last meaningful play. This is the epitome of Warriors defense: smothering, without regard to position.
On the latter play, Griffin had gotten loose for what could have been an easy dunk. It didn't happen because Green smothered Paul out of his options.
"I can't see behind me," Green said upon learning what had happened.
Walton saw the play though.
"Draymond had great ball pressure on CP," he said. "And without that ball pressure, Blake's getting a dunk at the rim."
That important play will be remembered less than the array of highlights Curry again brought to Oracle. And who can blame people for recalling that which continues to astound.
What might also be remembered is what Curry said postgame: "We're better than we were last year."
If that's truly the case, memories of this team will echo across some years.