Udoh Lifts Warriors Past Clippers 104-97
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OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — Monta Ellis scored 32 points, Ekpe Udoh had a season-high 19 points and eight rebounds in place of ill starting center Andris Biedrins, and the Golden State Warriors topped the Los Angeles Clippers 104-97 on Monday night.
Udoh had a layup and a tying put-back dunk with 4:05 remaining that started an 11-2 run to end the game for the Warriors. Golden State snapped a three-game losing streak and avenged a Christmas night blowout loss to the Clippers. Biedrins missed the game with flulike symptoms.
Chris Paul had 25 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Mo Williams made his first six 3-pointers and finished with 22 points in Los Angeles’ second straight loss. The Clippers had 18 turnovers and shot just 42 percent.
The rematch of the Clippers’ 105-86 win in the season opener looked little like the original.
Williams made his first three shots from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter, giving the Clippers a one-point lead each time. The last 3 put the Clippers ahead 89-88 halfway through the final period.
What looked to be shaping up as a back-and-forth finish turned out to be a runaway.
Brandon Rush hit a 3-pointer to put the Warriors back in front 98-97 with 2:07 left, and Ellis followed with a running floater over Jordan. Udoh lay on the floor for a few minutes clutching his left knee after the play but returned for the final minute. He shut down Blake Griffin, who had a costly turnover, and DeAndre Jordan in the process.
Griffin had 21 points and nine rebounds but was in foul trouble for most of the second half. Jordan, who the Warriors tried to sign in free agency, had five points and 11 rebounds.
Golden State’s boost at center kept it close all night.
Udoh made his first five shots to power the Warriors with a rare inside presence. The second-year center from Baylor also grabbed several key rebounds and knocked down a jumper in the second quarter to give Golden State a 33-23 lead early in the second quarter.
Udoh’s strong start slowed Griffin and Jordan in the early going. His highlights also did little to quiet critics of Biedrins, the Latvian center who is often the focal point of Golden State’s struggles.
The Clippers did find their spring. And so did Griffin.
The reigning NBA Rookie of the Year had a left-handed dunk, and spun around David Lee for a two-hand slam during a 15-2 run that pushed Los Angeles ahead 38-35 in the second quarter. The Warriors had the final highlight of the half when Udoh swished a jumper with 2.3 seconds remaining to tie it at 56 at the break.
The Clippers turnover woes kept Golden State close.
During the third quarter, Reggie Evans had a pass intercepted by Nate Robinson. The Warriors grabbed two offensive rebounds before Jordan threw another turnover to Lee, allowing Golden State to take a 77-74 lead into the fourth quarter.
NOTES: Curry addressed the crowd before the game, thanking fans for their support in the final home game before the All-Star break. The Warriors won’t play at home again until March 7 against Memphis. … Entertainer Too $hort performed with the Warriors dance team during a break in the third quarter. … Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis sat courtside in an all white team outfit. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and former Raiders quarterback and 1970 Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett also were in attendance.
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