In the presence of Tropics legend Jackie Moon, the Golden State Warriors achieved the pick-me-up victory they’ve been waiting for after losing five consecutive games.
Tuesday night broke the unfortunate streak: defeating the Los Angeles Clippers, 112-97.
Frankly, the Warriors did not have a spectacular game, but they took full advantage of a wayward Clippers team without a lead available to score for LA, and Golden State ran away with it.
After a five-game losing streak, Steph Curry and Steve Kerr were expected to lead a vengeful victory; also after losing eight of their last 11 contests and giving up the second seed in the West’s standings to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Curry had 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting, alongside five rebounds and five assists. Kerr’s use of rookie Jonathan Kuminga and guard Jordan Poole paid off with their 26 and 30 minutes of action, respectively.
Kuminga added 21 points and Poole pitched in with 20 points to boost the Warriors when their starting rotation had its dips.
Klay Thompson had a slow start to the game but still contributed 20 points.
This Warriors team has shown glimpses that it has missed the defense and rebounding from Draymond Green.
Then again, the Warriors didn’t need Draymond even with a matchup like this.
Key role players like Ivica Zubac and Amir Coffey delivered uncharacteristically flat performances, while placeholder leaders such Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson combined for a total of 33 points.
Coffey picked a bad time to start missing shots, notably in the Clippers’ run at the end of the third, as three-pointers (0-4) simply didn’t fall for the night.
Not the offensive performance that LA wanted, but it was a resilient effort at times.
Reserve guard Rodney Hood provided some key three in the fourth as the Clippers tried to climb out of a double-digit hole with a late run. Then the Warriors decided to finally pull away.
Batum’s 17 points led the Clippers in scoring. LA’s bench had more players in double digits (3) than the starting lineup (2).
With a solid lead over intracity rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Clippers (34-33) look to retain their bid for the playoffs as Paul George makes a recovery, and guys like Robert Covington and Powell get to 100 percent.
The Clippers are scheduled to face the Wizards, Hawks and Pistons next.