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Warriors Vs. Clippers: Turnovers Key To Stopping Lob City

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warariors and Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers go for a loose ball at Oracle Arena on February 20, 2012 in Oakland, California.<em>  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)</em>
OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 20: Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warariors and Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers go for a loose ball at Oracle Arena on February 20, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Golden State Warriors (16-21) vs. L.A. Clippers (23-15)
6:30 p.m. PST
Staples Center

Steve Perrin of Clips Nation notes that the Los Angeles Clippers' poor play that resulted in 6 losses in 9 games began with back-to-back losses to the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors.

After beating the Spurs on Friday, the Clippers are looking to reverse their fortunes by reversing the outcomes that got them off track. So before looking forward, a brief look back on that Warriors win over the Lob City crew on February 20.

Key Statistic: Turnover rate

What really hurt the Clippers in both the Spurs and Warriors losses statistically was turnovers: they had a -8 turnover rate differential against the Spurs and a -9 differential against the Warriors. Chris Paul's 5 turnovers at Oracle Arena tied a season-high and the turnovers were more evenly distributed against the Spurs.

Not surprisingly, the Clippers winning that turnover battle on Friday was a significant factor in them beating the Spurs on Friday (in addition to Paul scoring 36 points on 12-for-20 shooting).

Clippers player to watch: Mo Williams

But it was the combination of Paul and Mo Williams that got the Spurs on Friday: they combined for 69 points, 13 assists and just 1 turnover. Paul is unquestionably the driving force behind the Clippers' success this season, but Williams is the type of player that can provide the extra spark to put them over the top as he did on Friday as described by John Raffo of Clips Nation.

And then there was Mo Williams. The Clips had built an eight point lead at halftime, but in the middle of the third the Spurs caught them and actually managed to go up by two with around three minutes left. But the Clips stifled the San Antonio comeback, and behind William's hot shooting, the Clips held down the Spurs and finally choked them out in the fourth. Williams was 7 for 9 behind the arc. Clips were 14 for 27 overall.

Will Williams repeat that kind of performance against the Warriors? He certainly tried in the Feb. 20 game at Oracle Arena with 22 points, including 6-for-8 shooting from the 3-point line on a night when the Clippers shot 42.4% from beyond the arc.

Warriors player to watch: Stephen Curry

Click here for more on Stephen Curry's injury and to vote on what you think the Warriors should do with Curry tonight.

Optimistic predictions

  • David Lee has scored relatively well against the Clippers the first two times, averaging 22.5 points in the first pair of meetings and should be able to continue that.
  • Monta Ellis was as impressive a passer as he was a scorer last night and regardless of whether Curry plays, expect more of that tonight.
  • Nate Robinson will bring the energy again off the bench.

Pessimistic predictions

  • Dorell Wright is currently a combined 1-for-12 shooting against the Clippers. Klay Thompson is a combined 2-for-10 against the Clippers. Wright's still in a slump and one might not immediately expect for him to break out of that tonight. Thompson has been finding other ways to score, but the bottom line is that the Clippers are doing a good job stopped the Warriors' spot up shooters.
  • While Lee has been solid offensively against the Clippers, containing Blake Griffin can obviously be difficult.
  • Hack-a-DJ could return. This fits in the pessimistic category, both because of all the potentially missed free throws and the fouls.

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