Clippers, Warriors ready for high-scoring battle
Chase Center record-setters from this year and last go head-to-head Wednesday night when the Golden State Warriors host the Los Angeles Clippers in San Francisco.
The Warriors have played their best ball of the season in their last two games, setting a home-team scoring record in San Francisco's 2-year-old arena in a 137-122 win over Portland on Sunday, then matching it in a 137-106 shellacking of the Sacramento Kings the next night.
The Clippers spoiled the arena's curtain-raising with a 141-122 thumping of the Warriors in their home opener in October.
Two-plus months later, Dallas tied the scoring record -- a mark that still stands -- but the Clippers' 62.5-percent shooting in their first visit remains the arena's high mark.
Coincidentally, the Clippers also served as guests in last year's final Chase Center game, and they were even more dominant than they'd been 4 1/2 months earlier, crushing Golden State 131-107 to complete a 3-0 season-series sweep.
The Warriors rode Stephen Curry's career-best 62 points to Sunday's win, before relying on more of a team approach against the Kings, with Curry still managing 30 points but also finding time for nine rebounds and eight assists.
Six other Warriors scored in double figures as Golden State continued a trend this season of winning when scoring 100 or more points (4-0) and losing when held under 100 (0-3).
One of the Warriors who had a big night against the Kings was newcomer Kelly Oubre Jr., who had shot 2-for-30 on 3-pointers in his first six games. He went 4-for-6 against the Kings, accounting for a majority of his season-high 18 points.
"It was great," Oubre admitted afterward. "Now it is time to start the season."
The Warriors got Tuesday off, and caught a break when the Clippers were extended the full 48 minutes in a 116-113 home loss to San Antonio.
Three starters, including Kawhi Leonard, went 36 or more minutes in the loss, during which Los Angeles sat out Paul George to rest a sore ankle.
George, who was a late scratch Tuesday, is expected to be another game-time decision in San Francisco.
"He's in a really good groove," Clippers coach Tyronn Lue assessed of George, who went for a season-best 39 points in a win at Phoenix on Sunday. "Understanding where he is going to touch the ball on the floor, exactly where he is going to get his shots from, just playing through him and Kawhi and Lou (Williams) ... those guys are really doing a good job of reading the defenses."
Leonard totaled 44 points on 58.1-percent shooting and 14 assists in the Clippers' two wins in San Francisco last season.
Before last season's visits with the Clippers, Leonard had been last seen in the San Francisco Bay Area leading the Toronto Raptors past the Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals.
Lue also had a hand in limiting Golden State to three banners in the last six years, directing Cleveland to the 2016 championship at the Warriors' expense.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 6, 2021