Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 129-127 last-second win over Clippers



OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry poured in 42 points and Kevin Durant put in 35 as the Warriors outlasted the Clippers 129-127 on Sunday night at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors (23-11) overcame some indifferent defense to avenge an overtime loss to the Clippers last month in Los Angeles.

Curry’s layup with 0.5 seconds remaining finally put away the pesky Clippers.

Here are three quick takeaways from the game:

Lineup change gets mixed results

Warriors coach Steve Kerr made a surprise change, inserting Jonas Jerebko as the starter at power forward and moving Draymond Green over to center, with Kevon Looney -- who had made 11 starts at center -- coming off the bench.

While Kerr likes to have three designated shooters on the floor at all times, he sought to spread the Clippers out by using Jerebko as the fourth.

Jerebko, however, wasn’t able to launch from deep in the first quarter. He had two points when he was subbed out for Looney with 2:34 left in the quarter.

Meanwhile, the Clippers were able to get their offense rolling, piling up 36 points in the opening quarter. Exactly half came from beyond the arc, where they were 6 of 8.

The idea was rooted in soundness, but it didn’t achieve the desired results.

Defense was very spotty

With the exception of the third quarter, the Clippers, on offense, pretty much had their way against the Warriors.

LA shot 50 percent in the first quarter, 54.5 percent in the second and a whopping 70.5 percent in the decisive fourth. Moreover, the Clippers shot 78.3 percent from long distance for the game.

Only in the third quarter did the Warriors generate some defensive momentum, holding LA to 38.9 percent shooting and creating enough space to enter the fourth with a 103-94 lead.

But the defending champs got away with one. It’s not often that they will win a game while being outshot 53.8 percent to 45.2 percent. This can’t become a habit.

Free throws kept them in the game

While the Clippers were bombing away from 3-point distance with stunning accuracy as if it were a practice session, the Warriors were trying to keep up while counting by ones.

As in free throws.

They took an astonishing 28 in the first half, making 24 to keep the Clippers from blowing them off the floor. LA shot 11 free throws in the half.

The Warriors were 31 of 36 from the line for the game.

This is unusual; the Warriors entered the game averaging 21.6 free throws per contest, ranking 22nd in the NBA.

Durant was 12 of 15 from the line, Curry 12 of 13.

If not for the first-half scoring from the line, the Warriors wouldn't have been in position to win the game in the second half.

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