Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 12/25

Game 1: Sunday, December 25th
Game 2: Monday, February 20th
Game 3: Sunday, March 11th
Game 4: Saturday, April 14th

Warriors 104

(22-37, 10-20 away)

Clippers 112

(37-23, 22-9 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    3:30 PM ET, April 14, 2012

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    GS 23 35 24 22104
    LAC 35 24 27 26112

    Top Performers

    GS: N. Robinson 28 Pts, 5 Reb, 8 Ast

    LAC: C. Paul 28 Pts, 4 Reb, 13 Ast, 3 Stl

    Chris Paul, Clippers control Warriors, move to within a game of division lead

    Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES -- Chris Paul's clutch play in the fourth quarter is a big reason why the Los Angeles Clippers are closing in on a rare playoff berth.

    Paul scored 12 of his 28 points in the final period and added 13 assists in a 112-104 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday that brought the Clippers within a game of the Lakers for the Pacific Division lead.

    The Clippers have won 11 of 13, inching closer to their first playoff appearance since the 2005-06 season.

    "It's all about locking up a playoff spot. You got to get in," Paul said. "Anything can happen when you get to the playoffs. The sky's the limit. When we play the way we're capable of playing, we've already beaten some of the best teams in the league."

    Blake Griffin added 20 points, DeAndre Jordan scored 18 and Mo Williams had 14 in the Clippers' third straight win. They also are chasing the idle Lakers for the third seed in the Western Conference with six games remaining.

    "We know what our goal is and it's not to be ahead of the Lakers once the playoffs start," Jordan said.

    The Clippers' 36 wins are their most since they won 40 games in 2006-07. They next play West-leading Oklahoma City on Monday with a chance to win that season series.

    "We would love to win the division," Paul said. "In order to do that, we would need to win out."

    Reserve Nate Robinson led injury-riddled Golden State with 28 points, including four 3-pointers. Klay Thompson added 24 points, Dorell Wright scored 23 and Brandon Rush 22 in the Warriors' third consecutive loss and 11th in their last 13 games.

    David Lee and Richard Jefferson have been sidelined since Friday with injuries, joining Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry.

    "We're undermanned and undersized, but we fought. There's no quit in us," Thompson said. "We've been short-handed all year, so it's a learning experience, especially for us rookies. We're getting better, but we've got to get a lot better defensively. Even though we're undersized, we've got to do a better job of boxing out and keeping them from getting second chances."

    Golden State, the NBA's leading 3-point shooting team, made 15 from long range -- one off its season high. Wright and Thompson had four 3s each. The Warriors were 15 of 21 from the free-throw line, compared to 14 for 30 for the Clippers.

    "It was kind of like a snowball effect," Jordan said. "I missed a couple and then Blake missed a couple and then Kenyon (Martin) did, and they just started fouling us, but we got the win. We all have confidence in each other that in the clutch we'll knock those down."

    Without Lee down low to guard Griffin, the Clippers dominated the paint. But Golden State stayed in the game with its strong outside shooting.

    "Slow starts like that have killed us. It's inexcusable," Thompson said. "It's on us rookies to come out and play with a lot of energy. But we showed a lot of heart though."

    Nick Young hit a timely 3-pointer that gave Los Angeles its only double-digit lead of the fourth. From there, the Warriors got within six several times, but the Clippers made a series of defensive stops in the closing minute. Paul hit a 3 with 9 seconds left to preserve the win, although Thompson ended the game by making Golden State's last 3.

    "We understand we couldn't win a checkers match right now, we are not good enough," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.

    The Warriors tied it twice in the third quarter but never managed to take the lead despite the Clippers' missed free throws. They were 10 of 19 from the line in the period. Martin finally made a pair to send the Clippers into the fourth ahead 86-82.

    The Clippers raced to a 24-5 lead to start the game, shooting 59 percent in the opening quarter when Paul and Jordan scored 12 points each.

    The Warriors hit seven 3-pointers in the second quarter to trail 59-58 at the break. Rush and Robinson made three apiece in the period as Golden State shot 61 percent from long range in the half.

    Game notes

    The Clippers split the season series with the Warriors. ... Golden State remains stuck at 10 road wins, equaling last season's total. ... Jefferson, who has a swollen right knee, wasn't with the Warriors. ... The Clippers improved to 9-1 on Saturdays.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 104 112
    FGM-FGA 37-80 (.463) 44-81 (.543)
    3PM-3PA 15-31 (.484) 10-22 (.455)
    FTM-FTA 15-21 (.714) 14-30 (.467)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-39 13-41
    Assists 22 22
    Turnovers 16 10
    Steals 7 6
    Blocks 6 9
    Fast Break Points 13 17
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (1/0) 18 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 0 19

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Los Angeles
    Nate Robinson Robinson
    Points: 28
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Chris Paul Paul
    Points: 28
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 13
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0

    Research Notes

    From Elias: The Clippers trimmed the Lakers lead in the Pacific Division to 1 game. Should the Clippers overcome that deficit and win the division, it would be their first in franchise history, which spans 42 seasons. According to Elias, among teams that have been around for at least 30 seasons, the Clippers are the only team in the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL that has not won a division title.
    Chris Paul totaled 28 points and 13 assists in the Clippers win over the Warriors. It was just the third time in the last 25 seasons that a Clipper totaled 28 points and 13 assists in a single game. The last to do so was Andre Miller on November 28, 2002. Paul hit those marks 14 times during his six-year career with the Hornets.

    ESPN Stats & Information