NBA

Warriors-Clippers Preview

Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala, left, puts up a shot as Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, center, and forward Glen Davis defend during the first half in Game 1 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series, Saturday, April 19, Photo:

Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala, left, puts up a shot as Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, center, and forward Glen Davis defend during the first half in Game 1 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series, Saturday, April 19,

The Los Angeles Clippers acquired Jeff Green prior to the trade deadline hoping he will eventually make a difference in a potential playoff series with the Golden State Warriors.

They will get a glimpse of that Saturday night when Green makes his Clippers debut against a Warriors team coming off a stunning loss.

The Clippers (36-18) are highly unlikely to overcome a 12 1/2-game deficit and catch Golden State (48-5) in the Pacific Division. However, they're looking ahead to the postseason, where they could meet as early as the second round.

Getting Green for Lance Stephenson and a draft pick in a trade-deadline deal with Memphis on Thursday was done for exactly that reason.

"I really wanted more length," coach Doc Rivers told the team's official website. "When you look at the teams we have to beat, we need to get longer, more athletic, and we need to increase our shooting. I think with Jeff we did all three of those things."

Green was averaging 19.9 points and 5.3 rebounds while coming off the bench in his final eight games with the Grizzlies. He's capable of playing either forward position - a huge help with Blake Griffin still out with a broken hand.

"As a player, as a competitor, all I want to do is win," said Green, who played under Rivers in Boston from 2011-13. "That's what this organization is about, and that's what this team's trying to do. I'm happy to be a part of that."

Green joins a team on a 20-5 run, with all but one win coming without Griffin.

The Clippers turned in perhaps their most impressive performance of that stretch Thursday, getting 28 points and 12 assists from Chris Paul in a 105-86 rout of San Antonio.

Paul is averaging 24.1 points over the past eight games.

"Chris' leadership has been through the roof," said guard Jamal Crawford, who is averaging 21.0 points in a seven-game stretch, 7.4 higher than his season average.

Paul has scored 28.7 on 53.7 percent shooting in his last three matchups with Golden State, including 35 in a 124-117 home loss Nov. 19.

That was the Clippers' fourth straight loss in the series, and the Warriors have scored 113.0 points and hit 45.5 percent from 3-point range during that span.

Golden State is trying to avoid consecutive losses for the first time since April after it was blown out 137-105 at Portland on Friday - its most lopsided defeat in nearly four years.

''This is the NBA, so there's going to be nights where the other team gets hot,'' said coach Steve Kerr, whose team committed 13 of its 20 turnovers in the third quarter. "I'm OK with the other team making shots. What I'm not OK with is losing our poise in the third quarter.''

Stephen Curry reached 30 points for the 24th time this season, scoring 31 with 7 of 13 from long range. The league's leading scorer is averaging 33.8 points over the past five games, and his 29.8 season average is the highest by a Warrior since Ricky Barry's 30.6 in 1974-75.

Curry has totaled 71 points in two season meetings with the Clippers, including 40 at Los Angeles in November.

Draymond Green, who could find himself matched up with Jeff Green, fell two assists shy of a triple-double Friday. He finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high nine turnovers.

Green had 19 points, nine assists and six boards in the last meeting with the Clippers.

Comments

More NBA