Warriors-Clippers: What to watch for

March 11, 2012, 4:57 pm
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The Warriors are coming of a blowout victory against theDallas Mavericks on Saturday night, but the fun is just getting started. Thatgame started a stretch of six games in eight nights for the Warriors, and itcontinues Sunday in Los Angeles against the Clippers.The Warriors begin play Sunday four games behind theMavericks in the Western Conference standings. Dallas currently is the No. 8seed in the West. The challenge for Golden State isnt necessarily overcoming afour-game deficit, its going to be leap-frogging the five teams between themand that final spot.Here are some things to watch for when the Warriors play theClippers:
All about Paul: On opening night, theWarriors and Clippers were engaged in a tight game in the final six minutesuntil Chris Paul took over. Paul made three consecutive jumpers down thestretch as Los Angeles wound up pulling away. That night he finished with 20points and nine assists.In the Warriors 104-97 win just three weeks ago, it was adifferent story. Paul finished with 24 points, but he scored 20 of those pointsin the games first 17 minutes.Without Paul scoring down the stretch, the Warriors wereable to knock off Los Angeles. Its no secret that Paul makes the Clippers go,and so it helps when you can keep Paul under control.Curry's status: Warriors point guard Stephen Curry tweaked his right ankle again during the second half of Saturday's game against Dallas. Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Curry could have returned to the game, but it was out of reach and there was no need. Keep an eye on whether or not Curry is in the starting lineup and whether he is at 100 percent.Jump out early: Its often said that whena team returns from a road trip, their first game back home feels like acontinuation of the trip because the team flies back to its home city and isback playing after a day or two.When the Warriors played the Grizzlies last Wednesday atOracle Arena after a five-game road trip Memphis jumped out to a 21-4 leadand had the energy advantage from the get-go.Well, the Clippers are returning to L.A. after a six-gameroad trip that ended Friday, and perhaps now its time for the Warriors to havean advantage in the effort and energy department.Lets see if the Warriors can jump out early on the Clipperson Sunday.Compete up front: The Clippers frontline of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin is one of the most athletic in theNBA. The Warriors have sometimes struggled against those types of front lines,and it will be important that David Lee and Ekpe Udoh keep Jordan and Griffinfrom dominating the interior.

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