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Warriors fend off Clippers in LA

Mar 12, 2012 - 4:55 AM Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Monta Ellis scored eight of his 21 points in a shaky fourth quarter for the Golden State Warriors, who held on to beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 97-93, on Sunday after giving up a 21-point lead.

The Clippers rallied from 21 down in the third quarter and from 14 behind in the fourth, tying the game on Blake Griffin's dunk with around 4 1/2 minutes remaining. But they never took the lead.

"They made their run. We took their punch but we were able to make stops at the end," said Ellis. "It's great we were able to come out with the win."

Dorell Wright added 20 points for the Warriors, who have won three of four, while Griffin scored 27 with 12 rebounds for LA. Chris Paul chipped in 23 points for the Clippers.

Golden State was in control until the fourth quarter, leading by as many as 15 in the first quarter and 14 in the second on the way to a 55-42 advantage at halftime.

The Warriors went ahead by 21 in the third, 76-55, on Nate Robinson's jumper.

A 9-2 run by the Clippers cut it to 14 points going into the fourth, 78-64, and was part of an overall burst of 28-7 that tied the game. Reggie Evans scored eight of his 11 points during the extended run and Griffin also had eight, including two dunks late.

His tying slam came after Mo Williams knocked down a three-pointer for his only points of the game, pulling the Clippers within two.

Ellis gave Golden State the lead again on a reverse layup and Griffin missed 1-of-2 at the line with a chance to tie it for LA. Brandon Rush's putback dunk and David Lee's layup started a quick 6-0 spurt that put the Warriors up by seven with less than 1 1/2 minutes to play and the Clippers were never closer than four down the stretch.

"Their crowd was into it," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson, "but we were able to stop the bleeding and found a way to win the game."

Said Paul: "We have to start the game better and we have to play smarter. We had a good opportunity when we tied it up and I feel bad we couldn't get it done."

The teams split two games earlier this season and will meet again April 14 in Los Angeles.

Game Notes

Lee scored 18 with 10 rebounds for the Warriors, who shot 51.4 percent. Ekpe Udoh added 14 points and Ellis had 11 assists...Randy Foye scored 16 points for the Clippers, who shot 43 percent...Golden State remains on the road to play Sacramento on Tuesday. LA started a six-game homestand that continues Monday against Boston.