In a dazzling showdown on Thursday night, the Los Angeles Clippers triumphed over the struggling Golden State Warriors, securing their sixth consecutive win with a score of 121-113. James Harden showcased his sheer brilliance, notching his 25,000th career point while delivering an outstanding performance with 28 points, 15 assists, and seven rebounds.
Adding to the team’s powerhouse display, Kawhi Leonard contributed 27 points and eight rebounds.
James Harden’s 25,000-Point
Despite the absence of Paul George due to injury, the Clippers rallied behind Norman Powell, who scored 21 points, with 10 crucial points coming in the final quarter. Coach Tyronn Lue highlighted Harden’s pivotal role in stepping up his game in George’s absence, emphasizing his ability to generate plays for both himself and his teammates.
Harden’s milestone moment arrived in the third quarter with a breathtaking driving layup, etching his name among the NBA’s elite as the 24th player to reach the 25,000-point mark. His seamless integration into the Clippers’ lineup has been remarkable, displaying a stellar shooting percentage while adapting his gameplay to complement Leonard and the sidelined George, nursing a left hip injury.
Tonight, whether it was two points or 28, the win was what truly mattered,” shared Harden. “I’ve achieved various individual stats, but my focus remains on winning, building our team chemistry, and continually improving. This game was another step forward for us as a unified group.
On the opposing side, Klay Thompson had an impressive night, scoring a season-high 30 points and sinking eight 3-pointers for the struggling Golden State team. Their rough season continued as they faced a 0-3 road trip and endured a challenging stretch, losing 12 out of 16 games overall.
Stephen Curry contributed 17 points despite a 5-of-17 shooting performance. The Warriors embarked on another phase without Draymond Green, who received an indefinite suspension following an incident with Phoenix’s Jusuf Nurkic. Thompson expressed the team’s sentiment, acknowledging the significant void left by Green’s absence and eagerly anticipating his return, emphasizing his support and friendship for Green.
Despite the challenge, the team remained committed to giving their best effort in Green’s absence, aiming to persevere and continue playing at their highest level.
Ahead of the game, Golden State coach Steve Kerr underscored the team’s backing for the suspension of Draymond Green and expressed support for Green, who will receive unspecified assistance to address recent instances of behavioral issues and overly aggressive play. Green, a four-time NBA champion renowned for his defensive prowess, has faced four suspensions in 2023 alone.
There’s a recognition that things can’t continue as they have been,” Curry remarked. “We’re all aware of that. Finding the solution, that’s the journey we’re navigating now… Everyone has their challenges, and Draymond is working through his. I believe he can overcome this obstacle, however long it takes.
Both teams made adjustments to their starting lineups due to significant absences. Golden State brought in Jonathan Kuminga and Brandin Podziemski to replace Green and Andrew Wiggins, respectively, while Amir Coffey stepped into George’s starting role. Podziemski had a modest debut with four points on 2-for-11 shooting, while Kuminga contributed 15 points in his second start of the season.
Despite a relatively quiet start, Klay Thompson, the seasoned sharpshooter, delivered a vintage performance in his home state of Southern California. He ignited with four 3-pointers in the third quarter, keeping the Warriors competitive, although Curry and Thompson collectively went 1-for-7 in shooting during the fourth quarter.
Chris Paul, playing against his former team, scored 12 points for the Warriors, who faced their seventh consecutive road game loss, including two defeats this month against the Clippers. Paul incurred a Flagrant Foul 1 in the second quarter for an aggressive play that brought down Daniel Theis with a forceful shove while blocking out under the Clippers’ rim.
Paul’s last-second 32-foot shot in the third quarter narrowed the Clippers’ lead to six points, and although the Warriors closed the gap to one early in the fourth, they struggled to score for the following three minutes, hampering their comeback efforts.