OAKLAND – The Warriors on Sunday afternoon used their first network national television game of the season to make a statement.
These are not the Warriors of yesteryear or even last year.
They put together a fairly complete game in a 106-98 demolition of the Los Angeles Clippers, the preseason favorite to win the Pacific Division and perhaps the Western Conference.
In a game that was not nearly as close as the final score might indicate, the Warriors (49-12) took a 10-game lead on the Clippers, basically wrapping up the division, and likely will finish the season atop the conference.
Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by Draymond Green's 23 points. Klay Thompson, shaking a recent slump, dropped in 21 (on 9-of-13 shooting). Shaun Livingston finished with 20, Stephen Curry with 12 and Harrison Barnes with 10.
The Clippers (40-23), who were without stars Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford, got a team-high 22 points from reserve guard Austin Rivers and 21 from starting guard J.J. Redick.
The Warriors were slightly outrebounded (39-37) but shot 50 percent, to 48.2 percent for the Clippers. The Warriors committed 15 turnovers, off which the Clippers scored 11 points, but scored 22 points of 18 Los Angeles turnovers.
As much as Thompson delivered early scoring, as fabulous as Livingston was off the bench, it was Green who owned this game at both ends of the court.
Green was tremendous on offense, adding a team-high six assists to his 23 points. He also drove the Clippers batty on defense, turning 7-foot forward Spencer Hawes in to a non-factor and taking every opportunity to bury his nose in the chest of 7-foot DeAndre Jordan.
And, of course, Green did it all with his customary high-velocity effervescence.
Down 38-37 with 6:39 left in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a 13-2 spurt to take a 50-40 lead with 3:00 left in the half.
Most of the damage was inflicted by a small lineup (Green at center, Barnes and Thompson at forward, Curry and Livingston at guard), with Livingston scoring 7 points during the rally.
The Warriors maintained a lead for the remainder of the game, going up as much as 22 (90-68, 11:00 minutes left) and Los Angeles got no closer than seven (59-52, 10:28 left in the third quarter).
No injuries were listed prior to the game and none was announced during the game.
C Ognjen Kuzmic and F James Michael McAdoo remain on assignment with the D-League Santa Crus Warriors.
The Warriors left Oakland immediately after the game for Phoenix, where on Monday night they will face Suns at US Airways Center.