Programming note: Coverage of Warriors-Clippers Game 3 starts Thursday night at 6:30 on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live. Bookmark this page for comprehensive coverage of the Western Conference Quarterfinals series.
LOS ANGELES – Not long after losing Game 2 of their first-round playoff series with the Clippers on Monday night, Warriors center Jermaine O'Neal was looking forward to Game 3 ready to issue a challenge.
It's one for the fans at Oracle Arena, where Game 3 will be played on Thursday night.
"We get a chance to go back an arena that can really set a tone for home court," O'Neal said. "People talk about Seattle and how loud they are (for Seahawks games), I think we need to put a meter inside Oracle come Thursday and see who really has the loudest arena/stadium.
"I guarantee you our fans are going to continue to be the loudest in all of sports."
[INSTANT REPLAY: Griffin, Clippers crush Warriors, even series]
O'Neal was asked to explain the difference in the fan experience at Warriors games in Oakland and at Clippers games in Los Angeles. After a long pause, he concluded the Staples Center is newer.
Upon further review, he had more to say.
"Here's what I think the difference is: Four or five years ago, this arena was empty," O'Neal said, referring to the Clippers recently acquired fan base. "Look at the history of Oracle. Those fans believe in their team. They've shown up for many, many years and have very little to show for it. That's the difference.
"We have a very intense crowd that really believes in the brand and the product. They are going to do everything they can do to make it very difficult for an opposing team coming in."
When a reporter pointed out that Clippers fans left in droves in the fourth, as the team was finishing off a 138-98 victory, O'Neal couldn't help himself.
"Our fans, they stay," he said. "Now me, personally, I don't care if the Clippers fans stay or leave. They paid their money to come and do whatever they need to do for the team. But I feel we're going to show not only the Clippers but the world, on a national stage, exactly who has the best fan base in the business. I would be shocked if we didn't set the tone on Thursday."