Latest posts by Don McCormack (see all)
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There are hot streaks and then, there are hot streaks.
Whatever category would be an upgrade of the first two mentioned could be used to classify what Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers did to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
Williams torched the vaunted Golden State defense, scoring a career-high 50 points — including a 27-point third-quarter explosion, the most points in a quarter by and player in the NBA this season — in leading the Clippers to a 125-106 blowout.
It was the first win by Los Angeles (19-21) over Golden State since a Christmas Day triumph in 2014. The Warriors (31-9) had defeated the Clippers 12 consecutive times before Williams’ eruption halted it.
“Obviously, 50 is a huge number,” Williams said after going 16 for 27 from the field, including eight for 16 from 3-point range. “It’s a great accomplishment.
“For me, it was more important to get a win, try to close that gap to try to get back to .500, especially with the injuries and with guys in and out the lineup and for us to have that opportunity to be in the playoff fold.”
50 points, why not? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 11, 2018
Williams’ 27-point third quarter paved the way to a 37-point second half, the most by a Clippers player in any half of basketball since the team moved to Los Angeles.
His deep 3-pointer from well beyond the arc on the right wing put him at the half-century mark, enabling him to become the fifth player his season to reach the 50-point mark, joining Cleveland’s LeBron James, Houston’s James Harden (who has done so 3 times), Bradley Beal and DeMar DeRozan.
Even more impressive was the fact LA was playing without four starters when the game tipped off and lost another when C.J. Williams was sidelined after scoring 12 points. He was carried off the floor to the Clippers locker room by team trainer Jasen Powell and, who else, Lou Williams.
The Warriors played without their starting backcourt of Steph Curry (reaggravated right ankle sprain) and Klay Thompson (rest).
Golden State’s Kevin Durant had a milestone overshadowed by Williams putting half a hundred on his team.
Durant, who scored 40 points, reached the 20,000-point mark on a 21-foot jumper over Montrezl Harrell of the Clippers with 1:41 to go in the first quarter. In reaching 20,000 points, Durant became the second-youngest player to do so, behind only James.
The 2014 NBA MVP and 2017 Finals MVP connected on 14 of 18 field goals, including six of eight from the 3-point line.
Impressive, yes, but this night belong to Williams, who simply stole the show, not an easy accomplishment while playing against Durant and the Warriors on their home floor.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers was not shocked by Williams’ eruption, not in the least.
“I’m not surprised by anything that Lou does,” he Rivers said. “That was unbelievable. He was scoring off of double teams.
“He was scoring off of everything.”
Williams appreciates he’s been able to play at such a high level for an extended period of time.
“I’ve been playing with confidence for the past month or so now, so tonight was similar to other nights that I’ve had,” he said. “I’ve had some special nights this far in the year.
“But this one was pretty good.”