Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Sports

Warriors defeat admittedly distracted Clippers

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Clippers made a silent protest against owner Donald Sterling before Game 4 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series against Golden State (see separate story). The Warriors made a different kind of statement.

And just like that, a series pulled into a race-related scandal took another twist.

Stephen Curry made a career playoff-high seven 3-pointers and had 33 points, leading the Warriors past the Clippers 118-97 on Sunday to even their first-round series at two games apiece.

"We wanted to come out and focus on all the work we've put in over the summer, throughout the course of the season to get ready for this moment in the playoffs and just have fun and enjoy it — not let one person ruin it for everybody," Curry said.

Curry and company did a better job focusing from the start.

The All-Star guard made his first five 3s to give Golden State a 20-point lead in the first quarter that held up most of the way. Curry shot 10-of-20 from the floor, including 7-of-14 from beyond the arc, and had seven assists and seven rebounds to help the Warriors snap a two-game skid.

"I just thought they were the tougher team and it wasn't even close. Should have been a first-round knockout," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.

Golden State outshot Los Angeles 55.4 to 42.9 percent. The Clippers had 19 turnovers, while the Warriors had a series-low 15 turnovers.

Both coaches and players agreed that Sterling's purported comments affected their preparation, and neither side believed it was a determining factor in the outcome.

Rivers blamed himself for not getting his players ready.

"I'm not going to deny that we had other stuff," he said. "I just believe when the game starts, the game starts and nobody cares anymore. Golden State surely didn't care."

Warriors 118, Clippers 97

L.A. CLIPPERS (97): M.Barnes 4-7 1-2 10, Griffin 8-14 5-5 21, Jordan 0-1 0-0 0, Paul 5-9 4-5 16, Redick 3-9 3-3 12, Collison 3-7 0-0 6, Ja.Crawford 8-18 7-8 26, Davis 0-3 0-0 0, Granger 0-4 0-0 0, Turkoglu 1-4 0-0 3, W.Green 0-0 0-0 0, Dudley 0-0 0-0 0, Hollins 1-1 1-1 3. Totals 33-77 21-24 97.

GOLDEN STATE (118): Iguodala 6-8 8-10 22, D.Green 1-4 2-2 4, Lee 7-11 1-1 15, Curry 10-20 6-7 33, Thompson 5-13 2-4 15, O'Neal 2-4 1-1 5, Blake 1-3 0-1 3, H.Barnes 6-7 1-2 15, Armstrong 2-2 0-0 4, Speights 1-2 0-0 2, Kuzmic 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 41-74 21-28 118.

L.A. Clippers 24 24 23 26— 97

Golden State 39 27 23 29— 118

3-Point GoalsL.A. Clippers 10-31 (Redick 3-6, Ja.Crawford 3-10, Paul 2-4, Turkoglu 1-3, M.Barnes 1-3, Collison 0-2, Granger 0-3), Golden State 15-32 (Curry 7-14, Thompson 3-8, Iguodala 2-2, H.Barnes 2-3, Blake 1-3, D.Green 0-2). Fouled OutThompson. ReboundsL.A. Clippers 42 (Griffin, Jordan 6), Golden State 45 (Curry 7). AssistsL.A. Clippers 20 (Paul 6), Golden State 32 (Iguodala 9). Total FoulsL.A. Clippers 25, Golden State 26. TechnicalsL.A. Clippers Coach Rivers, Golden State defensive three second. Flagrant Fouls—Turkoglu. A19,596 (19,596).

Wizards weather absence of Nene

WASHINGTON — Even with the team's "X-factor" suspended, the Wizards had a No. 42 sitting next to the bench. The 57-year-old with graying hair couldn't box out or grab a rebound, but owner Ted Leonsis waved his red towel and egged on a cheering crowd that chanted "Free Nene!"

The Wizards did fine without the suspended Brazilian forward. They scored the first 14 and beat the Bulls 98-89 to take a 3-1 lead in the East series.

"I thought it was pretty hilarious that Ted had Nene's jersey on," Wizards guard and former Florida standout Bradley Beal said. "It kind of threw me off for a minute, but then I looked and seen it was Ted."

Nene, a forward in his 11th season, was suspended for one game after grabbing Jimmy Butler's head in the fourth quarter of Washington's Game 3 loss. Wizards guard John Wall has called Nene the "X-factor" for good reason: Since the March 2012 trade that brought Nene to D.C., Washington is 65-63 when he plays and 21-41 when he doesn't.

Washington, seeking to win a playoff series for only the third time since the 1970s, can finish the Bulls on Tuesday in Chicago.

Wizards 98, Bulls 89

CHICAGO (89): Dunleavy 3-8 0-0 6, Boozer 3-7 2-2 8, Noah 4-9 2-3 10, Hinrich 3-12 0-0 7, Butler 5-14 4-4 16, Augustin 3-10 1-1 8, Gibson 13-16 6-7 32, Snell 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 35-78 15-17 89.

WASHINGTON (98): Ariza 10-17 4-5 30, Booker 4-10 0-0 8, Gortat 6-18 5-8 17, Wall 4-15 7-8 15, Beal 7-13 2-2 18, Gooden 1-4 0-0 2, Webster 3-6 2-2 8, Harrington 0-1 0-0 0, Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Seraphin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-86 20-25 98.

Chicago 18 22 22 27— 89

Washington 28 27 27 16— 98

3-Point GoalsChicago 4-19 (Butler 2-7, Augustin 1-4, Hinrich 1-5, Snell 0-1, Dunleavy 0-2), Washington 8-19 (Ariza 6-10, Beal 2-3, Gooden 0-1, Wall 0-1, Harrington 0-1, Webster 0-3). Fouled OutBooker. ReboundsChicago 53 (Noah 15), Washington 48 (Booker 9). AssistsChicago 22 (Hinrich 7), Washington 22 (Wall 10). Total FoulsChicago 22, Washington 18. TechnicalsGibson, Chicago defensive three second 2, Booker. Flagrant Fouls—Boozer. A20,356 (20,308).

Raptors even series against Nets at two

NEW YORK — DeMar DeRozan had 24 points, Kyle Lowry scored 22 and the Raptors beat the Nets 87-79 to tie their East first-round series at two.

Amir Johnson had 17 points for the Raptors, who started fast, gave up all of a 17-point lead then shut the Nets down over the final 5 minutes to snap a 13-game road losing streak in the playoffs that went back 13 years.

Paul Pierce scored 22 for the Nets, who were 3-of-17 in the fourth quarter and didn't have a field goal after Pierce's basket with 6:13 left gave them a 77-73 lead. Kevin Garnett had 10 points for the Nets, but Joe Johnson and Deron Williams were mostly non-factors in getting outplayed by Toronto's backcourt.

Raptors 87, Nets 79

TORONTO (87): Ross 0-1 0-0 0, A.Johnson 7-11 3-3 17, Valanciunas 3-3 0-0 6, Lowry 7-17 5-5 22, DeRozan 7-19 9-11 24, Patterson 3-7 2-2 9, Vasquez 4-12 0-2 9, Salmons 0-3 0-0 0, Hayes 0-1 0-0 0, Novak 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-75 19-23 87.

BROOKLYN (79): J.Johnson 2-7 2-4 7, Pierce 9-14 1-2 22, Garnett 3-6 4-4 10, Williams 4-12 2-3 10, Livingston 3-7 3-6 9, Plumlee 0-1 1-2 1, Anderson 1-6 1-2 3, Teletovic 5-9 2-2 12, Kirilenko 0-1 1-2 1, Blatche 1-5 2-2 4. Totals 28-68 19-29 79.

Toronto 35 16 16 20— 87

Brooklyn 22 22 23 12— 79

3-Point GoalsToronto 6-23 (Lowry 3-8, DeRozan 1-1, Patterson 1-3, Vasquez 1-6, Novak 0-1, Ross 0-1, Salmons 0-3), Brooklyn 4-20 (Pierce 3-7, J.Johnson 1-2, Blatche 0-1, Anderson 0-2, Teletovic 0-3, Williams 0-5). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsToronto 47 (Patterson 9), Brooklyn 51 (Blatche 7). AssistsToronto 15 (Vasquez 9), Brooklyn 17 (Williams 6). Total FoulsToronto 29, Brooklyn 25. TechnicalsValanciunas, Livingston, Brooklyn defensive three second. A17,732 (17,732).

Kerr talks to Knicks: Steve Kerr said he spoke with Phil Jackson twice over the weekend and that they will continue discussing his potential of becoming coach of the Knicks. Jackson is Kerr's former coach with the Bulls and the new Knicks team president. Kerr was in New York on Sunday to work the Raptors-Nets game as an analyst for TNT.

Late Saturday: Reserve guard Reggie Jackson scored 32, his playoff career high, as the visiting Thunder beat the Grizzlies 92-89 in overtime to tie their series at two. The past three games in the series have gone OT.

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