LOS ANGELES -- Technically speaking, this is still 'Lob City.' But Saturday night a football game broke out between the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors as the teams combined for 10 technical fouls, 65 personal fouls and 91 free throws in a rugged, choppy game that lasted nearly three hours. The Warriors came out ahead, 114-110, after a frenetic finish.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry drew a charge on Chris Paul on a driving layup that would've tied the score, then hit two free throws to ice it. Curry and Carl Landry led the Warriors with 23 points apiece.
Paul and Jamal Crawford each scored 27 points for the Clippers, who rallied from an 11-point deficit over the final six minutes to tie the score at 107-107 on Paul's free throws with 1:35 to go.
Paul scored 19 of his points at the line, but it was his one miss that will haunt him. With 42.4 seconds to go, he missed the second of his two attempts and the Clippers never got any closer.
Curry opened the door by missing a free throw with 21.4 seconds to play, but redeemed himself with two key plays at the end.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
1. Crawford crossing over
Yes, Crawford is known as a streaky player. But for as long as he stays this hot, the Clippers need to keep riding him. Crawford again sparked the clippers off the bench, scoring 27 points on 8-for-17 shooting to up his scoring average in the first three games of the season to 25.7. Like the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers before them, the Warriors had no one who could stay with Crawford's quick first step or contain his silky perimeter moves.
2. They're called trap games for a reason
You could see this one coming from a mile away: Big win against the Lakers on Friday, letdown against the Warriors on Saturday. The Clippers saw it coming but still came out of the gates ice cold, falling behind 24-10 in the first quarter. While they cut the lead to 33-24 by the end of the period and 57-53 by halftime, you'd hope a team with championship aspirations wouldn't fall into these kind of traps and dig themselves such deep holes.
3. Inside stuffed
The Clippers aren't going to outscore many teams in the paint on all that many nights. Not when Blake Griffin is their only reliable front court scorer. But if they're not going to score inside all that much, they need to do a better job defensively. Saturday night, Landry, David Lee and Festus Ezeli pushed them around, outscoring the Clippers in the paint 48-32 and out-rebounding them 48-33.