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Warriors top Clippers, 118-97, even series at 2-2

Warriors Even Series
BY ANTONIO GONZALEZ
AP SPORTS WRITER

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Clippers made a silent protest against owner Donald Sterling before Game 4 of their Western Conference playoff series against Golden State. The Warriors made a different kind of statement during the game.

And just like that, a series pulled into a race-related scandal took another twist.

Stephen Curry made a career playoff-high seven 3-pointers and scored 33 points, leading the Warriors past the Clippers 118-97 on Sunday to even their first-round series at two games apiece.

"We wanted to come out and focus on all the work we've put in over the summer, throughout the course of the season to get ready for this moment in the playoffs and just have fun and enjoy it - not let one person ruin it for everybody," Curry said.

The game almost became an afterthought - until tipoff anyway - after an audio recording was posted Saturday online by TMZ purportedly of Sterling making comments urging a woman to not bring black people to his team's games. The alleged comments, which are under investigation by the NBA, have set off reactions of anger and calls for action through the league.

Clippers players made a silent protest against Sterling by shedding their warm-up jerseys and going through the pregame routine with their red shirts on inside out. They also wore black bands on their wrists or arms and black socks in a show of solidarity.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he knew what his players had planned but didn't voice his opinion. He said he wasn't thrilled about the demonstration, though he didn't elaborate why.

Curry and company did a better job focusing from the start.

The All-Star guard made his first five 3s to give Golden State a 20-point lead in the first quarter that held up most of the way. Curry shot 10 for 20 from the floor, including 7 of 14 from beyond the arc, and had seven assists and seven rebounds to help the Warriors snap a two-game losing skid.

"I just thought they were the tougher team and it wasn't even close. Should have been a first round knockout," Rivers said.

Golden State outshot Los Angeles 55.4 to 42.9 percent. The Clippers had 19 turnovers, while the Warriors had a series-low 15 turnovers.

Both coaches and players agreed that Sterling's purported comments effected their preparation, and neither side believed it was a determining factor in the outcome.

"I think both teams were somewhat bothered by what has taken place the last 24 hours," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "But my guys just played with great energy, great effort."

Rivers blamed himself for not getting his players ready.

"I'm not going to deny that we had other stuff," he said. "I just believe when the game starts, the game starts and nobody cares anymore. Golden State surely didn't care."

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

Andre Iguodala added 22 points and nine assists, and David Lee, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes each scored 15 as the Warriors went to a smaller lineup to regain their shooting touch in front of a roaring, gold-shirt wearing sellout crowd of 19,596 that stood after every swish.

"It just all came together," said Iguodala, who also had nine assists and four rebounds.

Jamal Crawford scored 26 points, and Blake Griffin had 21 points and six rebounds for a Clippers team wrapped up in the most talked-about topic in sports.

"Maybe our focus wasn't in the right place would be the easiest way to say it," Clippers guard J.J. Redick said.

New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attended the game and met privately with former All-Star guard and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is advising the players union on the Sterling situation. Johnson even held a news conference during halftime that spilled well into the third quarter.

Silver has said he hopes for a quick resolution after the league investigates, and that Sterling has already agreed not to attend Game 5. Johnson said the players trust Silver and are hoping for a quick resolution - and the harshest penalty possible if the audio recording is authenticated.

Once the ball was thrown up and the crowd roared, the Warriors quickly put the Clippers in a hole they could never recover from.

Curry's five 3-pointers in the first quarter tied a franchise-playoff record for a quarter, matching a mark he and Thompson set last year. Golden State led by 20 in the first quarter, 23 in the second quarter and 66-48 at the half.

Jackson used a smaller lineup - with power forward David Lee playing center for long stretches instead of Jermaine O'Neal, whom Jackson said requested the switch - to spread the floor more than he had at any point in the series, which big man Andrew Bogut has missed with a fractured right rib.

The Clippers never closed within single digits at any point in the second half.

Curry kept on shooting - and kept on hitting - to send the series back to Los Angeles tied. And with so many in an uproar over Sterling's purported comments, there's no telling what the scene will be like at Staples Center.

"We're going home now, and usually that would mean we're going to our safe haven," Rivers said. "And I don't even know if that's true."

NOTES: The Warriors have won 16 of their past 19 home games against the Clippers. ... Sterling's wife, Shelley, sat in a courtside seat across from the Clippers' bench.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about ourPRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

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THE BIG O.G. April 27 2014 at 10:17 PM

The warriors must stay fired up.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
gmcwalker April 28 2014 at 7:32 AM

Win for your team mates and your fans Clippers. Forget DS!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
rivers360 April 28 2014 at 12:57 AM

Go Golden State! Play to win. See below advice.

Folks, read the book written by John Grisham entitled "BLEACHERS". It is a short book and I imagine some good Americans will have a long-enough attention span to read the 183 pages. This book is so much more important than this Obama/media issue than you can imagine. Give my suggestion a shot. If you can read, it will take you a very few hours, and it will be well worth your time to do so.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
jimbc12 April 28 2014 at 2:38 AM

I am a Warriors fan and live in the Bay Area, but this game really makes me sad.

For those of you who think "the guy made a mistake" or "these guys should play the game", I am sure you would feel different if someone was treating you like an animal who shouldn't even be seen in public unless they are with their "own kind". You wonder why African Americans are so angry? Read your comments and wonder how you would feel about them if you were a minority reading them. Hint: It's the same way you feel when someone lumps all white people in the same category and thinks in racial terms. This owner is pathetic. Owning an NBA team is a privilege, not a right. If you demean your employees and treat them like dirt, you should not be surprised when they get demoralized and do not do their best. The fact that they get a lot of money does not prevent them from feeling like any other human being who sees themselves categorized as garbage just because of their race.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
4 replies
feller185 April 28 2014 at 1:07 AM

The "C lippers" colors are RED -White and Blue. Not white & Black! This is a team I love. Lets not kill the spirit of the team with stupid media hype. Jews were slavesway before Blacks. Prejudice is camoflaged as stupidity. GO CLIPPERS. We are with you all the way DOC. WHITE GUY MIKE Lets continue the lovefest for the red white and blue Clippers!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
JOSEPH G MATTERA April 28 2014 at 5:42 AM

HIS TEAM HIS RIGHT TO SAY THAT; AND FURTHUR MORE; INSUBORDINATION SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED FIRE THEM ALL;
AND I DO NOT WATCH NBA AT ALL;
REASON;
IMBALANCE OF WHITE PLAYERS;
THE NBA DISCRIMINATES AGAINST WHITE PEOPLE..........

Flag Reply +8 rate up
3 replies
John April 27 2014 at 11:07 PM

We
could put him in the coleseum with the christians and Lions. After all, we do give respect to the .people that we disagree with. That is a quote from Obama

Flag Reply +2 rate up
rldgeruner April 28 2014 at 5:26 AM

what if he said this about white people nothing would be said the civil wars over hell they call each other the n word nothing is said

Flag Reply +6 rate up
Glenn April 28 2014 at 12:21 PM

Those poor big strong men sure have thin skins!!!!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
ddeanrivera April 28 2014 at 1:18 AM

Play the damn game and quit acting like a bunch of Jr. High kids. He is entitled to his opinion. He donates millions to various causes. He may be a prude, a racist or whatever the "F" you think of him, but he has dished out the cash to many charities. The NAACP was going to give him an award and they should do it too! Let him stand there with all those Black people!

Flag Reply +7 rate up
2 replies
rlaura668 ddeanrivera April 28 2014 at 7:36 AM

Black People don't want to claim him; he belongs to you.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
momsname17 rlaura668 April 28 2014 at 9:01 AM

No but you want to take his money,what does that make you

Flag 0 rate up
Gary ddeanrivera April 28 2014 at 9:38 AM

This guy has a wife AND a girlfriend. Funny that you said he is a prude. Prudes don't have a wife and a girlfriend.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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