Warriors final score: Warriors outwork Clippers, 114-110

Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Despite an absurd number of free throw attempts for the Los Angeles Clippers, the Golden State Warriors held on to get an unlikely win at Staples Center without the services of center Andrew Bogut and injured guard Brandon Rush.




The Golden State Warriors' 114-110 win tonight came down to making clutch plays down the stretch while the Los Angeles Clippers faltered, with Stephen Curry drawing an offensive foul on superstar point guard Chris Paul to seal the deal on a night when the whistles hadn't gone the Warriors' way.

And that's not even what made this win so impressive.

Tom Lorenzo, Steve Perrin, and I all believed that the Los Angeles Clippers were the more difficult matchup for the Golden State Warriors in this weekend's back-to-back.

And after watching the Warriors lose to the Memphis Grizzlies last night at GSoM NIght and losing Brandon Rush to injury, the chances of winning tonight felt even slimmer.

That they were also facing a deep Clippers team at Staples Center with the planned absence of center Andrew Bogut made it seem like this game could've turned into a blowout.

So allow me a moment to eat my words: the Warriors showed as much heart tonight as I've seen them show in years.

Carl Landry came up big once again to tie Curry with a team-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds. David Lee did his work on the defensive boards with a team-high 12 rebounds. Klay Thompson was only 6-for-17, but was aggressive driving to the rim and rebounding.

Overcoming the absence of two rotation players, suspect officiating that led to 52 free throws for the Clippers, and being on the road against an opponent that had just knocked off two likely playoff teams is the type of thing that teams aiming for the playoffs do...meaning it's not a feat we're not used to seeing the Warriors pull off.

Maybe the Clippers simply decided that coming off a win against the Los Angeles Lakers the Warriors game was simply a win waiting to happen. Maybe the Warriors rallied in the name of their fallen teammate. Maybe the Warriors just wanted to prove something to themselves after an uneven performance against the Grizzlies last night. But whatever the explanation, the Warriors came into a game with the odds stacked against them and found a way to win by simply outworking, outhustling, and ultimately outscoring a playoff team on its own floor. They were more active on offense and generally more patient on offense without the help of arbitrary trips to the foul line.

It's a testament to their bench, the work ethic of their rookies to be prepared when it's their time to step up, the improvement of guys like Klay Thompson, how well these pieces fit together and almost everything that has made us excited about this team leading up to opening night.

Does this one game mean that all doubts about the Warriors' ability to compete for the playoffs have been challenged? Certainly not. But it certainly gives us something to remain excited about the direction of this franchise.

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