The Los Angeles Clippers get their first crack this season at ending a lengthy losing streak against the visiting Golden State Warriors when the teams meet Monday at the Staples Center. The Clippers have lost 10 straight against their Pacific Division rivals since a win over the Warriors on Christmas in 2014.
The teams have finished 1-2 in the division standings in each of the past five seasons and have settled in atop the grouping already, although Golden State had its three-game winning streak end with Sunday’s 115-107 loss at home to the Detroit Pistons. “Them being the defending champions just means you know you have to play a great game to beat them, but if that’s the motivation we need to play great basketball, then we’re probably in trouble,” Los Angeles forward Blake Griffin told reporters. “It’s early in the season, so it’ll be a good test for us, but as far as measuring stick for the whole year, I don’t know.” The Clippers fell 95-87 against the Pistons at home Saturday night for their first loss of the season, blowing a double-digit lead in the second half. Griffin had a season-low 19 points and was 5-of-18 from the floor.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, NBCSN Bay Area (Golden State), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (4-3): Golden State shot 57.1 percent Sunday and saw its star trio of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson combine for 84 points, but the team continued to have some issues on the other end of the floor and in the turnover department. The Warriors entered the game against the Pistons already ranked tied for 26th in the NBA in scoring defense (114.2) and saw that number inch up after allowing 63 second-half points Sunday. They’ve turned the ball over at least 16 times in all seven games after coughing it up a season-high 26 in the loss.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (4-1): Griffin’s rocky night came amid a lackluster team effort that prompted some harsh criticism from coach Doc Rivers. “We lost the lead because our heads weren’t right,” Rivers told reporters. “We are never going to be a good team if we play and act like that.” One bright spot was the play of guard Austin Rivers, who scored a season-high 20 points while making 6-of-8 from 3-point range and collecting four steals.
1. Warriors F Draymond Green had six turnovers Sunday and is averaging four a game, more than two times his career average.
2. Clippers C DeAndre Jordan has three blocks in each of the last two games after failing to record one in the first three contests.
3. Curry had made his first 52 free throws this season before a miss Sunday night.
PREDICTION: Clippers 107, Warriors 106