C.J. Williams drove in for what appeared to be a routine layup early in the third quarter, but nothing is routine during this season for the injury-ravaged Clippers, and so when he sprained his right ankle on the play, again the routine was not routine.
But behind the herculean effort from Lou Williams that netted him a career-high 50 points, the Clippers pulled off a shocking 125-106 victory over nemesis Golden State on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena, beating the Warriors for the first time since Dec. 25, 2014.
What is now becoming the routine for Lou Williams is what allowed the Clippers to break a 12-game losing streak against the Warriors.
“Obviously 50 is a huge number,” Williams said after going 16 for 27 from the field, eight for 16 from three-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.”
Williams went wild for 27 points in the third quarter, the most points in a quarter by any player in the NBA this season and obviously the most points in a quarter in his career.
He had 37 points in the second half, the most points for a Clipper in a half since the team moved to Los Angeles.
When Williams made a three-pointer with 41.2 seconds left, he become the fifth player in the NBA this season to score 50 points or more in a game, joining LeBron James, James Harden (three times), Bradley Beal and DeMar DeRozan.
“I’ve been playing with confidence for the past month or so now, so tonight was similar to other nights that I’ve had,” Williams said. “I’ve had some special nights this far in the year. But this one was pretty good.”
With the help of Clippers trainer Jasen Powell, it was Lou Williams who had helped carry C.J. Williams off the court before he was carried into the locker room.
Then it was Lou Williams who carried to the Clippers to their second consecutive victory, lighting up the Warriors at every turn even as they began to run double teams at him in the fourth quarter.
C.J. Williams, who had with 12 points, left the arena on crutches.
The Warriors were without their All-Star backcourt of Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) and Klay Thompson (rest).
Curry had been practically unstoppable in five games since returning from the 11-game absence with his initial ankle injury, averaging 35.2 points over that span. He turned his ankle at a shootaround Wednesday.
But the Warriors still had Kevin Durant, whose 40 points gave him another milestone.
When Durant knocked down a 21-foot jumper on Montrezl Harrell with 1:41 left in the first half, it gave him 20,000 points for his career, making him the second-youngest player to accomplish that feat behind James. The 2014 MVP made 14 of 18 shots, six of eight from beyond the three-point line.
Durant now has 20,015 points, but Lou Williams stole this night, refusing to give in despite the Clippers having four starters out before the game started and losing another when C.J. Williams went down.
“I’m not surprised by anything that Lou does,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “That was unbelievable. He was scoring off of double teams. He was scoring off of everything.” [/restrict]