LOS ANGELES (AP) –– Chris Paul scored 42 points and had three of his 15 assists on consecutive alley-oop dunks by Blake Griffin during a 30-second span of the third quarter, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 126-115 victory over Golden State in their home opener on Thursday night.
The Clippers, who won the franchise’s first division title last season with a club-record 56 wins, began their 30th season in Los Angeles on Tuesday night with a 116-103 loss to the Lakers — the designated home team in the arena they are sharing for the 15th season.
This is the first season in which the Lakers’ championship banners and retired numbers will be covered up during Clippers home games by banners depicting some of their players in action — an innovation by new head coach Doc Rivers.
Five Clippers scored in double figures. Griffin had 23 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out with 3:53 remaining. Reserve Jamal Crawford added 17 points and DeAndre Jordan had 17 rebounds and nine points.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who set an NBA single-season record with 272 3-pointers last season made nine 3s against the Clippers and finished with 39 points and nine assists. David Lee scored 22 points before fouling out with 4:10 to play, and center Andrew Bogut had 17 points.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who had a career-high 38 points on 15-for-19 shooting in a 125-94 rout of the Lakers, did not attempt a field goal against the Clippers until he was awarded a basket on a goaltending call against Jordan with 5:04 left in the half. Thompson finished with 10 points.
Trailing by as many as 19 points, the Warriors sliced the deficit to 110-102 on a four-point play by Curry, who was fouled by Jared Dudley on his fourth 3-pointer of the fourth quarter with 6:05 remaining. But they never got closer as the Clippers responded with a 10-5 run capped by newcomer J.J. Redick’s 3-pointer with 3:12 left.
Lee committed his fifth foul with 6:38 left in the third quarter and went to the bench with the Warriors trailing 77-67. Paul and Griffin then worked the sellout crowd of 19,060 into a frenzy with their sudden reprise of “Lob City,” helping the Clippers pull away to an 88-70 lead with 4:31 left in the quarter.
Los Angeles led 68-55 at halftime with four players reaching double digits, including Paul with 18 points. The Clippers took their biggest lead, 65-47, on a 21-footer by Redick that capped an 11-2 spurt with 1:43 left in the second quarter. He finished with 17 points.
After getting in early foul trouble, Bogut picked up his third with 2:50 left in the half when he hacked Jordan on the arm as the Clippers’ center backed into him while dribbling the ball in the paint. Jordan didn’t take it lightly, and the two of them got into a shoving match before they were each hit with technical fouls. The Clippers were leading 58-45 at the time.
The Clippers did not raise a banner signifying the first division championship in franchise history, which dates back to the 1970-71 season when they were the Buffalo Braves. Nor was it mentioned during the pregame introductions.
NOTES: The Clippers are 15-15 in home openers since moving from San Diego to Los Angeles for the 1984-85 season. … The Clippers have beaten the Warriors at least once in each of the last 27 seasons, their longest such streak against any club. But the Warriors, who finished last season nine games behind them, were one of only two teams to beat the Clippers three times during the regular schedule — along with Oklahoma City. … Jordan recorded his 1,000th regular-season field goal in the NBA on an alley-oop dunk set up by Paul in the first quarter. Jordan’s league-best 64.3 shooting percentage last season was a franchise record, topping James Donaldson’s old mark in 1984-85, the Clippers’ first season in L.A. … The Clippers franchise is 5-11 on Halloween and 2-8 since the club moved to Los Angeles.