LOS ANGELES – The Warriors went down honorably and with a furious fight, pouring their hearts and bodies into a fantastic Game 7 that provided an emphatic last word to a classic playoff series.
It was not enough, however, as they ultimately fell to the Clippers 126-121 on Saturday night at a sold-out (19,543) and refreshingly boisterous Staples Center.
So ends the season for the Warriors, while Los Angeles advances to the Western Conference semifinals against Oklahoma City.
The underdog Warriors bit and scrapped and clawed from opening tip to final buzzer. The favored Clippers, bigger and stronger, responded by biting harder and bringing more muscle.
Stephen Curry put in a game-high 33 points, but so balanced was the Warriors scoring that six others finished with at least 10.
Draymond Green finished with a career-high 24, Klay Thompson had 15, Andre Iguodala 14, David Lee 13, Jordan Crawford 12 and Marreese Speights 10.
The game featured seven lead changes and four ties. The Warriors led by as much as 12, the Clippers by as many as eight.
Six Clippers scored in double figures, led by Blake Griffin's 24 points. Chris Paul and sixth man Jamal Crawford each finished with 22. Center DeAndre Jordan finished with 15 points and a game-high 18 rebounds.
In addition to his usual energy, Green was also provided generous amount of production across the board – and did it with efficiency.
Curry also brought it all evening, orchestrating the offense and playing rugged defense and, when he felt the need, locking horns with Paul.
There were no fewer than a dozen turning points as these teams waged war on the court, but the final argument was delivered when Jordan jammed through a Chris Paul miss to give L.A. a 114-109 lead with 1:15 to play.
The crowd went into ecstasy and the Warriors never again caught up, getting as close as two (120-118) on a Green 3-pointer with 13 seconds to play.
For the Warriors, C Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery rehab), C Andrew Bogut (fractured rib) did not play and are out indefinitely.
For the Clippers F Hedo Turkoglu (hairline fracture of transverse process in lower back).
The Warriors enter an offseason that promises to be very interesting.