Behind 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists from Stephen Curry and 20 points and 13 rebounds from David Lee, the Golden State Warriors held on for a 109-105 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday afternoon. The victory gives them a 1-0 series lead.
Chris Paul scored 28 points, dished out eight assists, grabbed seven rebounds and recorded four steals while J.J. Redick poured in 22 points for the Clippers.
DeAndre Jordan had 11 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks, but turned the ball over seven times.
The Clippers could not have gotten off to a better start. They scored the game’s first seven points and had a 12-1 lead before the Warriors got their first field goal. The Warriors, however, quickly trimmed the lead and had it down to five by the end of the quarter and entered the half tied at 52.
The Warriors took control of the game in the last 2:15 in the third, ending the quarter on an 8-0 run to take an 87-79 lead. They extended the lead to 11 in the final quarter.
That’s when Paul struck. Paul’s three-pointer cut the lead to 100-97 with 3:29 to go and after each team scored again, another Paul three tied the game at 102. After a steal and one free throw by Darren Collison, the Clippers got the ball back, but Paul’s layup was blocked by Harrison Barnes and he hit a three on the other end (you can see the GIF of that sequence here).
Barnes finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Blake Griffin tied it with two free throws and the teams began to trade empty possessions. After a Curry miss with just 24 seconds left, Draymond Green was fouled on an attempt to grab the rebound and knocked down both free throws. On the next possession, Paul appeared to be fouled, but there was no call and he lost the ball out of bounds. Barnes was fouled and hit one of two, then Paul was intentionally sent to the line so the Clippers could not attempt a game-tying three-pointer. Paul missed both free throws, but Green missed two of his own, leaving the door open. Collison corralled the rebound after the second miss, but stepped out of bounds. Klay Thompson hit one of two free throws to ice the game.
Thompson shot just seven-of-20 from the field, but finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Foul trouble was one of the big stories of the game – Andre Iguodala fouled out in just 20 minutes while Blake Griffin was limited to 19 minutes (and still managed to score 16 points, grab three rebounds and dish out three assists) before fouling out.
Game 2 is Monday at 10:30 pm EST and the game is on TNT.