Clippers run the Warriors off the floor in a testy affair

The Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin (32) dunks with style points against the Golden State Warriors in the third quarter at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday, October 31, 2013. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

The Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin (32) dunks with style points against the Golden State Warriors in the third quarter at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday, October 31, 2013. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

By Dan Woike
The Orange County Register

LOS ANGELES _ The Golden State Warriors and the Clippers don't like each other, and Thursday night at Staples Center, there were a handful of incidents to support that statement.
Before a 126-115 victory, the Clippers broke tradition and didn't hold a pregame chapel service with the Warriors. It's common in the NBA for players from both teams to meet and worship before games.
While they didn't pray together pregame, the two teams did play together, but they sure didn't do it nicely.
After a handful of shoves and plenty of jawing through 2-{ quarters, the Clippers went back to "basics" to run away from the Warriors.
And the basics for Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are often spectacular.
The defense forced three turnovers in a row, each leading to a lob jam, all with Paul finding Griffin high above the rim.
The Clippers led by 19 before Golden State's Stephen Curry started dropping in jumpers from all over the court at Staples Center. Curry finished with 38 points, hitting 9 of 14 from 3-point range. But he also committed 10 turnovers.
Paul fired right back, draining several 15-footers on his way to 42 points.
Paul became the first player in the NBA since 1985-86 to finish a game with 42 points, 15 assists and six steals.
Griffin fouled out after adding 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Before the hot shooting and nasty dunks, things were just nasty.
In the first half, Griffin and Klay Thompson scuffled underneath, with Griffin swinging his arm and sending Thompson to the court. Griffin was called for a technical foul.
Then later in the half, Andrew Bogut wrapped up DeAndre Jordan for a hard foul. Jordan shoved Bogut in the chest, and Bogut pushed Jordan back. Referees rushed to break things up, separating both teams before calling technicals on Jordan and Bogut.
Golden State reserve Draymond Green earned a technical in the fourth quarter for throwing the ball at Griffin following a Jamal Crawford 3-pointer.
The trouble on court isn't surprising after Clippers players groused about the celebrating done by the Warriors bench during three Golden State wins last season.
Because of Coach Doc Rivers' defensive pedigree and the emphasis placed on that side of the ball during training camp, expectations were that the Clippers would come out of the gates proficient on that end of the court.
And because of their individual talent on offense, people figured things would look OK on that end of the court.
But that was probably unrealistic.
"We're just trying to figure out the right places on both ends," Rivers said before the game.
Rivers dismissed the notion that a lot of extra effort could make up for unfamiliarity in the Clippers' new defensive schemes.
"It used to be we thought with defense, all you have to do is play hard. I don't believe that. I never believed that," he said. "You do have to do that, by the way. That's important. But if everybody played hard individually, you wouldn't be a good defensive team.
"Defense is continuity. It's talking and being in the right place."
If Paul and Curry didn't like one another, it wouldn't matter. But their history doesn't change how Paul feels on the court, either.
Curry and some of the other top point guards in the country worked with Paul at his elite point guard camp while Curry was still in college at Davidson.
And after the Warriors took Curry in the 2009 NBA draft, Paul took Curry under his wing for the summer.
But none of that history meant anything to Paul on the court. He's played against people who he has even more history with.
"I mean, I played against my brother in college," Paul said.
With the Clippers headed to Sacramento on Friday for their first back-to-back of the season, Rivers said he'll keep a close eye on Matt Barnes' minutes. Barnes played in only one preseason game because of a sore left calf. ... Because of mechanical issues on their plane, Golden State didn't get to L.A. until Thursday afternoon. The team was scheduled to fly following Wednesday's game with the Lakers. ... After not playing in the season opener, Byron Mullens struggled, missing four open shots from 3-point range and a pair of free throws in 10 scoreless minutes. ... Jordan grabbed 17 rebounds.
(c)2013 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
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