Gloves are off between Warriors, Clippers

(SportsNetwork.com) – One of the NBA’s most-heated rivalries takes center
stage Wednesday night when the Golden State Warriors host the Los Angeles
Clippers at Oracle Arena.

These two teams, stalwarts in the Pacific Division, have enjoyed bitter
battles throughout the last two seasons. They even got into physical
altercations on Christmas night.

The rivalry intensified in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs
last season. The Clips survived in seven games, all the while, dealing with
the Donald Sterling fiasco. Golden State didn’t have center Andrew Bogut, who
sat with a rib injury.

The series was extremely testy and featured, according to NBA TV, 10 technical
fouls and five flagrant fouls. There was even a situation in the locker room
area after the Clippers won game seven that required police intervention.

“They know us, we know them,” said Warriors forward Draymond Green, who has
been at the forefront of many of the incidents between these two teams. “It’s
going to be a dog fight.”

The Warriors are undefeated through three games for the first time since 1994
and have done it with defense. They are second in the league in opponents’
scoring.

Golden State picked up a fantastic road victory last time out, a 95-90 win
over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Klay Thompson is quickly proving he is worth every penny of his recently
signed four-year contract extension. The reigning Western Conference Player of
the Week’s runner in the lane with 8.7 seconds left gave the Warriors the lead
for good.

“Klay was terrific,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “He hit the toughest
shot of the night.”

Thompson, who signed a max extension worth a projected $70 million on Friday,
scored a career-high 41 points in Saturday’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers,
then kept the momentum going with his clutch bucket on Sunday, which gave him
29 points. He leads the NBA with 29.7 ppg.

Steph Curry added 21 points, followed by 13 off the bench from Leandro Barbosa
and 11 points and 12 rebounds from Bogut.

Golden State will get a boost when David Lee returns to the lineup after a
hamstring injury.

The Clippers got back into the win column Monday night with a 107-101 home
victory over the Utah Jazz. One day before, the Clips fell to the Sacramento
Kings at Staples Center.

Blake Griffin scored a game-high 31 points and Chris Paul recorded a triple-
double in the win over the Jazz. Paul, just two days after suffering a left
foot sprain, logged 13 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

“Our training staff, like I said before, is the best in the league and they
got me ready to go tonight,” Paul said.

The Warriors have won five of the last eight regular-season meetings with the
Clippers. Golden State is 5-0 in its last five regular-season home matchups
against their Pacific Division rivals.