Clippers Beat Warriors – James Harden reached a milestone in his career by scoring his 25,000th point while leading the Los Angeles Clippers to their sixth consecutive victory against the Golden State Warriors with a score of 121-113 on Thursday night.
Harden’s impressive performance included a season-high 28 points, 15 assists, and seven rebounds, while Kawhi Leonard added 27 points and eight rebounds to the Clippers’ tally.
Norman Powell also contributed significantly to the Clippers’ win, scoring 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter. The Clippers overcame Paul George’s first injury absence of the season to secure their 11th win in 14 games. The team’s home record in December remains unblemished, with five wins in as many games.
Clippers coach Tyronn Lue praised Harden’s performance, stating that he raised his level of play in the absence of PG. Harden’s ability to create more plays for himself and his teammates was instrumental in the Clippers’ victory, and it was a significant game for him.
Harden became the 24th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points on a driving layup late in the third. The veteran has fit in quickly with the Clippers, shooting a strong percentage while adjusting his overall game to fit alongside Leonard and George, who sat out with a left hip injury.
“Doesn’t matter if I got two points or (28) tonight, winning is the key,” Harden said. “The stats and everything — I’ve done a lot of different things, accomplished a lot of different individual stats.
For me, it’s about winning, about building chemistry, about continuing to get better, and I think tonight was another step forward for us as a unit.”
Klay Thompson scored a season-high 30 while hitting eight 3-pointers for Golden State, which went 0-3 on its away matches trip and has lost 12 of 16 overall in a tumultuous season that got even rockier this week.
Stephen Curry scored 17 points on 5-of-17 shooting as the Warriors began another potentially lengthy stint without Draymond Green, who is indefinitely suspended after smacking Phoenix’s Jusuf Nurkic in the face on Tuesday.
“It was tough, because Draymond is a huge part of what we do, and we’re going to miss him dearly,” Thompson said. “We know he’s going to come back even better, a changed person. I’ll miss him just as a friend and a brother. Love him to death, and I can’t wait until he comes back.
Obviously there’s a big hole on our team right now, but we’re going to do the best we can in his absence and keep playing our hardest.”
Before the game, Golden State coach Steve Kerr emphasized the team’s support for Draymond Green’s suspension and his need for help to address his recent instances of misbehavior and overly aggressive play. The four-time NBA champion and defensive whiz has been suspended four times in 2023 alone .
“Draymond knows that he can’t do what he’s been doing,” said Curry. “We know that. Everybody knows that. What needs to change is the search for the answer.
That’s the journey that we’re on now. Everybody has their mountains to climb, and Draymond’s are his, and I’m confident that he can get over the hump, however long it takes for him to get there.”
Both teams had to make changes to their starting lineups due to key absences. Golden State promoted Jonathan Kuminga and Brandin Podziemski to replace Green and Andrew Wiggins, while Amir Coffey moved into Paul George’s starting role. Podziemski had four points on 2-for-11 shooting in his first career start, while Kuminga scored 15 points in his second start of the season.
Although Thompson had a quiet start, the veteran sharpshooter put on a vintage performance in his native Southern California. He hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter to keep the Warriors in the game, but Curry and Thompson combined for 1-for-7 shooting in the fourth quarter.
Chris Paul scored 12 points against his former team for the Warriors, who have lost seven straight road games, including two this month to the Clippers.
Paul was also whistled for a Flagrant Foul 1 in the second quarter when he knocked down Daniel Theis with a two-hand shove while blocking out under the Clippers rim.
Paul hit a 32-footer at the third-quarter buzzer to trim the Clippers’ lead to six points, and the Warriors got within one early in the fourth quarter before promptly going scoreless for the next three minutes .