The Golden State Warriors (41-24) stayed hot Tuesday night with a dominating 108-85 victory over the Dallas Mavericks (38-27). Jordan Crawford had 19 points off of the bench as every Warrior scored in a great overall team win which they shot over 50 percent from the field. The Warriors are one of the hottest teams in the league and have pushed their winning streak to five games.
The sixth seeded Warriors find themselves just a game in the win column behind the fifth seeded Portland Trailblazers. With the Warriors current winning streak and the Blazers three-game losing streak, Golden State has a good opportunity to move up in the standings.
However, the Los Angeles Clippers are ready to prove that they are still the hottest team in the league. Winners of eight straight, they host Golden State on Wednesday in what is sure to be a physical battle between the rivals.
The Clippers (45-20) are the current leaders in the Pacific Division. Golden State would surely like to knock them down a peg and claim that top spot in the playoffs, but it won’t be easy.
The talent loaded, hungry, new face of Los Angeles basketball have a different way about them this season. Doc Rivers has taken them to an entirely new level. He has preached defense, toughness, and teamwork in hopes to ditch the nickname “Lob City” and replace it with a title.
But whether or not the Clips can take that next step in the playoffs remains to be seen. L.A. has shown their dominance in the regular season in the past and still fallen flat on their faces when it mattered most. This season, however, could be their season to prove the doubters wrong. With a champion coach like Doc Rivers and the recent additions to their depth chart, things are looking more promising than ever for arguably the most talented and athletic roster in the league.
Golden State has won two of the three meetings against the Clippers so far this season. With Wednesday being the fourth and final regular season matchup between them, both teams are sure to be on top of their game. The point guard matchup of Stephen Curry and Chris Paul will be worth the price of admission alone. Arguably the two best point guards in the league, both players will look to shine.
Way back on Halloween in their first matchup of the season, Stephen Curry scored 38 points and connected on nine three-pointers and dished out nine assists. Paul on the other hand scored 42 points along with 15 assists. Wednesday night in the bright lights of L.A. should have a similar story.
Both Golden State and Los Angeles rank among the top 10 in just about every offensive category. But what has changed this season is both team’s top 10 ranks in most defensive categories as well. Both Mark Jackson and Doc Rivers have implemented a championship caliber system and it has shown.
Wednesday night looks to be a statement game for both teams as they look to stay hot down the final stretch of the regular season. Games like these are what can propel teams into the playoffs with momentum and confidence. It’s sure to be a great contest between the West Coast’s newest rivals.
Commentary by Rich Peters