LOS ANGELES -- When the final horn had sounded, the Los Angeles Clippers outgunning the upset-thirsty Warriors to take Game 7, Chris Paul walked over to the Warriors bench. There, he embraced Stephen Curry.

Paul, the future Hall of Fame point guard, had spent seven games chasing, hounding, grabbing, swiping. And Curry still came oh-so-close to knocking off his friend, who's also the best point guard in the game.

He tried, though, putting a scare into the Clippers. His 33 points didn't come in ordinary fashion. He made only three of the Warriors' 14 3-pointers. But he was 16 of 16 from the free-throw line, perhaps the best stat to show how the Warriors took it to the Clippers.

Problem was, they couldn't manage enough defense. The Clippers were clicking on all cylinders, especially in the second half, and the Warriors were at their mercy. With no centers to speak of, and five players logging more than 38 minutes, the Warriors couldn't muster nearly enough resistance.

So the team that hung its hat on defense all season long turned it up on offense. Draymond Green was unconscious, scoring 24 points on 13 shots, knocking down a game-high five 3-pointer. The Warriors had seven players in double-figures and knocked down 14 of 25 from 3-point range.

But they couldn't hit enough 3s, or make enough free throws, or get up enough shots.

"Obviously, we had our eyes set on bigger goals," Curry said. "But we fought."


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That's the Warriors season. Good enough to scare the crap out of the contenders but not good enough to take them down.

Why not is all that's left to discover. Is it because of injuries? Talent? Coaching? Certainly it's not fight.

For most of the series, the Clippers defense had bottled up the Warriors offense, especially away from Oracle. Their size and athleticism, their traps, their hands-on style of defense, prevented prolonged rhythm.

Saturday, the Warriors answered the bell. They were game, just undermanned.

Not even 30 seconds into the game, Klay Thompson set the tone by burying the first shot of the game, a 3 from the right wing. The next time down, Green hit another one from the top of the circle.

Golden State had made just a third of its attempts in the first six games of the series. Suddenly, it was 2 for 2, and Curry hadn't taken a shot. It was a sign the barrage was coming.

In the biggest game of the season, the Warriors were feeling it from behind the arc. Suddenly, they were the offensive juggernauts they're often purported to be.

By halftime, the Warriors had knocked down nine 3-pointers in only 13 attempts. They built a lead as high as 12 and went into the locker room up 64-56 after shooting 58.5 percent. It would've been higher, but Curry's heave from beyond half-court, which he banked in, was discounted after review showed it was after the buzzer.

The Warriors had scored 32 points in each quarter as several players had it going. Curry highlighted his 13 with a four-point play on his second 3 in the final seconds of the first half. No one was hotter than Green, who knocked down all five of his shots, including three from deep. Andre Iguodala was 4 for of 6 with two 3s. David Lee was 3 of 5.

Even Marreese Speights had it clicking, scoring eight points in less than six minutes.

It was an offensive clinic. The Warriors' lights-out shooting had the Clippers scrambling on defense, which only spread the floor further.

But when the Clippers kicked it into gear, it was clear the Warriors were going to have to try to outgun them. Blake Griffin was bulling his way to the rim. Paul looked like himself again, breaking down the Warriors' defense off the dribble. Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick were knocking down shots.

The Warriors looked feeble, helpless, as the Clippers took control of the game.

So they did all they could, turning it up on offense.

The Warriors went for 37 points in the fourth quarter. Four players knocked down a 3 ball. And every time the Clippers looked to have delivered the knockout blow, Curry responded.

He had 14 points in the fourth quarter, most coming with the season on life support. But in the end, not even Curry could save the Warriors.

Read Marcus Thompson II's blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/thompson. Contact him at mthomps2@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ThompsonScribe.