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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, December 25th (All times Eastern)

Los Angeles Clippers (20-9) at Golden State Warriors (16-13), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers will carry a five-game winning streak into Oracle Arena Christmas night to take on their Pacific Division rivals, the Golden State Warriors.

The Clips just swept a four-game homestand and their last loss came on Dec. 12 in Brooklyn. They've built a two-game lead in the Pacific, although it's not over the Warriors, it's over the upstart Phoenix Suns.

The Clippers' most recent victory was a comeback win on Sunday over the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime. LA hung on for a 120-116 win to extend their winning streak.

LA was down five points with less than a minute to go.

Jamal Crawford finished an uncontested layup for a 106-104 margin with 13 seconds left, and Minnesota burned its final timeout to advance the ball to midcourt. The inbounds pass went to Kevin Martin, who was immediately doubled by Chris Paul and Crawford. Martin lost his footing, allowing Paul to jar the ball free and Crawford to scoop it up and coast in for the game-tying dunk with 7.7 on the clock.

Minnesota's Nikola Pekovic broke a 112-112 tie with under a minute left in overtime with a short hook shot over DeAndre Jordan, but Jared Dudley drained a 3 at the other end to put the hosts in front.

Paul then made 3-of-4 from the foul line around a Kevin Love sky hook, and Minnesota marched down the floor with a chance to tie or take the lead in the closing seconds. Ricky Rubio found Pekovic down low, but his shot was off the mark and Paul corralled the rebound with three ticks left.

Paul was pure on two free throws to seal the outcome.

"It's a great lesson for us," head coach Doc Rivers said. "I kept saying it throughout and down the stretch, 'It's not over. There's plenty of time. It's not over.' And I give them credit and they kind of hung in there."

Blake Griffin, the Western Conference Player of the Week, poured in 32 points and hauled in 10 rebounds. Paul had a double-double with 19 points and 13 assists.

Crawford finished with 22 points, followed by 18 from Darren Collison and 15 out of Dudley. Jordan grabbed 17 boards.

Matt Barnes was fined $25,000 for failing to leave the court in a timely manner upon his ejection from Sunday's game. Barnes was assessed a flagrant foul 2 for a hard foul on Love and was ejected from the contest with 56.8 remaining in the third quarter. The league downgraded Barnes' penalty to a flagrant foul 1 after a review.

The Warriors have won two in a row and three of four after Monday's road win over the Denver Nuggets, 89-81.

Golden State was down heading into the fourth quarter, but put the clamps on the Nuggets. The Warriors held Denver to 15 points over the final 12 minutes.

"It was a good win, especially because they took the lead and had a rhythm," said Golden State coach Mark Jackson. "Our guys battled. That is how you have to win on the road."

David Lee led the way for the Warriors with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson had off nights with 14 and 13 points, respectively, but combined to shoot 11-for-30.

Andre Iguodala had 12 points in his first game in Denver since signing with the Warriors in the offseason.

"I played in Philly last year on the first game of the year so I've kind of been through it. It actually wasn't that bad," noted Iguodala.

The Clippers beat the Warriors by 11 in LA on Oct. 31. Golden State has taken three of the five most recent matchups, but the Warriors have gone 6-1 in the last seven at home against the Clips.

12/25 10:41:49 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
Final
WAS 3
PHI 5
Final
TOR 6
ATL 5
Final
DET 3
CWS 12
Final
MIN 2
CLE 4
Final
STL 5
CIN 2
Final
CHC 7
SDP 6
Final
BOS 1
BAL 4
Final
PIT 6
MIL 2
Final
HOU 4
ANA 0
Final
NYM 5
MIA 4
Final
TAM 0
NYY 9
Final
KAN 0
OAK 5
Final
SFG 4
ARI 1
Final
LOS 6
COL 3
Final
SEA 3
TEX 1
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
MIA
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
NYY
 
1:35pm Today
BOS
BAL
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
1:35pm Today
WAS
PHI
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
ANA
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
OAK
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
LOS
COL
4:10pm Today
SEA
TEX
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
Final
TOR 86
WAS 93
Final
GSW 106
NOP 99
Final
CHI 103
MIL 91
Final
HOU 118
DAL 108
3:00pm Today
CLE
BOS
 
5:30pm Tonight
ATL
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
POR
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
SAN
 
Final
TAM 5
DET 1
Final
STL 4
MIN 1
Final
NYR 3
PIT 4
Final
ANA 2
WIN 1
12:00pm Today
NYI
WAS
 
3:00pm Today
CHI
NAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
MON
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
VAN
 
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR