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National Basketball Association
Preview
Golden State at L.A. Clippers
When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, April 19, 2014
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

The Golden State Warriors went into the playoffs as the No. 6 seed last season and knocked off the third-seeded Denver Nuggets. They will be attempting to turn the same trick again this spring, though the competition will be different when the Warriors visit the third-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the opener of a seven-game series on Saturday. The Clippers are primed for a deep playoff run and brought in coach Doc Rivers in part for his experience in the postseason.

Rivers is the biggest change from last spring, when Los Angeles dropped a first-round series to the Memphis Grizzlies under Vinny Del Negro, but he is not the only difference. The Clippers led the league in scoring and became a defensive force as the season progressed and DeAndre Jordan grew more comfortable with his role as an enforcer and rim protector. The Warriors likely won’t have anyone who can match up directly with Jordan with Andrew Bogut out indefinitely. Golden State’s center suffered a broken rib in the final week of the regular season.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (51-31):
Golden State and Los Angeles did not get along very well during the regular season, and Warriors guard Klay Thompson continued the war of words this week by talking about Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin. “He’s kind of like a bull in a china shop, kind of out of control sometimes,” Thompson told 95.7 The Game radio in San Francisco. “And then you do just see him flop sometimes, like how can a guy that big and strong flop that much?” Much of the responsibility for guarding Griffin and watching out for those “flops” will fall to forward David Lee, who worked his way back into the lineup in three games down the stretch after missing time with nerve irritation in his upper hamstring. Center Jermaine O’Neal could take Bogut’s place in the starting lineup unless the Warriors decide to go smaller and use Draymond Green.

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (57-25):
Griffin chose to downplay Thompson’s comments and is ready to get back on the court after sitting out the final game of the regular season due to a one-game suspension for drawing a 16th technical foul. Griffin was tossed from the Christmas night meeting with the Warriors after drawing a pair of technical fouls and all four meetings, which were split 2-2, were tense. “I want to play Golden State,” forward Matt Barnes told ESPN Los Angeles. “I think that’s everybody’s mindset. They’ve been asking for us and we’re on a course to see each other. … There’s no need to really talk or get into it or get them anymore fired up. The playoffs are here now and this is what everybody has waited eight months for.”

BUZZER BEATERS


1. Warriors G Stephen Curry went 18-for-32 from 3-point range in his final three regular-season games.

2. Clippers G Chris Paul averaged 28 points, 12.7 assists and 3.7 steals in three games against Golden State this season.

3. Los Angeles F Danny Granger (hamstring) missed the final nine games of the regular season but expects to be ready on Saturday.

PREDICTION:
Clippers 112, Warriors 105
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Golden State 51-31 W2 27-14 24-17 2-3 49-28 11-5 31-21
L.A. Clippers 57-25 L1 34-7 23-18 6-2 51-23 12-4 36-16
Last Meeting
Golden State L.A. Clippers
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/12/14 GS 98 LAC 111 98 36 43.9 111 49 48.9
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Golden State K. Thompson 26 52.6 2
L.A. Clippers B. Griffin 30 46.4 4
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Golden State D. Lee 7 0 7
L.A. Clippers B. Griffin 15 5 10
Assists Player  
Golden State S. Curry 11
L.A. Clippers C. Paul 12
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Golden State S. Curry 1980 46.6 332
L.A. Clippers B. Griffin 2013 52.6 497
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Golden State A. Bogut 728 197 531
L.A. Clippers D. Jordan 1169 346 823
Assists Player  
Golden State S. Curry 697
L.A. Clippers C. Paul 714
Quickchart Matchup
Golden State Off vs  L.A. Clippers Defense
104.3 Points For
101.0 Points Against
46.2 FG%
44.1 FG%
45.3 Reb
43.7 Reb
L.A. Clippers Off vs  Golden State Defense
107.9 Points For
99.5 Points Against
47.4 FG%
43.6 FG%
43.7 Reb
43.3 Reb