NBA: Warriors back in recovery mode

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors shoots over Danilo Gallinari, who top-scored for the Los Angeles Clippers with 19 points. The Warriors won 141-113, just one day after losing at home to the Detroit Pistons.
Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors shoots over Danilo Gallinari, who top-scored for the Los Angeles Clippers with 19 points. The Warriors won 141-113, just one day after losing at home to the Detroit Pistons.PHOTO: REUTERS

Curry, Durant brush Clippers aside after Kerr issues challenge to erratic champions

LOS ANGELES • The Golden State Warriors used the challenge of a road game against one of the better defensive teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) to hit the reset button.

Stephen Curry scored 31 points and Kevin Durant added 19 on Monday as the champions cruised past the Los Angeles Clippers 141-113 a day after falling at home to the Detroit Pistons.

"That looked like us," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after his team recovered after losing three of their first seven games.

There was plenty of familiarity, with Golden State winning their 11th straight game over their Western Conference rivals.

Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points for the Clippers (4-2), while Lou Williams added 17 and Blake Griffin had 16.

The Clippers - who arrived at Staples Centre having allowed only the Portland Trail Blazers to score more than 100 points against them this season - took their second consecutive defeat after opening their campaign 4-0. They lost to the Pistons a day before the Warriors did.

After a competitive first quarter, Golden State (5-3) built a 17-point lead at half-time and were barely threatened. The Clippers cut the lead to single digits multiple times in the third quarter, but the Warriors pulled away with ease.

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    Field goals Golden State managed against the Los Angeles Clippers, their most this season.

"We always have confidence going into every game that we will play our best, and so far this season that hasn't happened," Curry said. "Tonight, I think our defensive effort got us to where we wanted to be, and we kind of controlled the game from the start."

Kerr laid out a task for his players before tip-off.

"He gave us a challenge to kind of win the possession and the field-goal-attempt game tonight, however we can get that done," Curry said. "We played Warriors basketball, and now we have to sustain it."

The Warriors made 52 of their 89 field-goal attempts (58.4 per cent), while the Clippers hit 39 of 86 (45.3 per cent). The visitors had 37 assists to the Clippers' 21.

"(The Warriors) do a good job of moving the ball, but we knew that going into the game," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.

"It's funny, it's rare when you look at the box score and have 113 points offensively and think, 'We didn't play good offence tonight,' I thought it was night and day watching the difference in (ball) movement tonight."

In Boston, Kyrie Irving played well on both ends of the floor in his best game for the Celtics.

The All-Star guard scored 24 points, dished out six assists and added three steals in a 108-94 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

In his first seven games as a Celtic, he is averaging 21.7 points and 5.7 assists per game.

"I felt like I had to adjust to them," former Cleveland Cavaliers star Irving said of his new team-mates.

"That was probably the biggest thing. Coming in and even playing pick-up with those guys, they have a team-oriented-at-all-times vibe and culture here and I had to be able to adjust my individual talents to the greater good of the group."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2017, with the headline 'Warriors back in recovery mode'. Print Edition | Subscribe