Chris Paul set to make National Basketball Association return

Posted February 25, 2017

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (thumb) is unlikely to suit up against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, per head coach Doc Rivers.

The mounting losses against Golden State and the team's early playoff exits have raised questions about the Clippers' ability to remain mentally tough in big games.

Sleepwalking, as Golden State did throughout the first half Thursday, has been a common affliction this season, despite cruising to an NBA-best 48-9 record while posting the league's best offense and second-best defense, and sporting a ridiculous 12.7 net rating per 100 possessions (all according to NBA.com's stats page).

Pundits have long tried to give Warriors-Clippers the "rivalry" tag. In 2014, they beat the Warriors at the Staples Center in a deciding Game 7 in the first round.

Los Angeles will have star guard Chris Paul back in the line-up for the first time since January 16 following surgery to fix a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Curry had 20 points and Kevin Durant 15 in the third period, which began with the Warriors trailing their Pacific Division rival 61-49. Golden State committed 12 turnovers in the 1st half. They brought the fight and they made sure to get Golden State off their game in the second quarter while the struggled.

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All-Star DeAndre Jordan aided the Los Angeles cause with 17 points and 11 rebounds, his team-leading 24th double-double of the season.

Though Pierce has only been with the Clippers since past year, Los Angeles hasn't won at Oracle Arena since 2011.

With the Warriors boosting their lead to 21 points with eight minutes to play, it's safe to say victory was in the bag.

After the Clippers took a 144-98 beating in their last visit to Oracle Arena on January 28, they controlled the game for the first two quarters. L.A. only made one three pointer in the third quarter. Curry scored a game-high 35 points.

There have been encouraging signs for the Clippers, with Griffin looking his best in two seasons, averaging 23.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists in the 10 games since his return from injury. The Clippers had no answer for the Dubs in the 4th quarter.