OAKLAND -- The Warriors' Stephen Curry had trouble getting off his shot until the very end.
And with his step-back attempt at a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer falling short, Curry could only stay seated on the court as the Los Angeles Clippers held tight onto a 98-96 win Thursday at Oracle Arena to grab a 2-1 series lead against the Warriors.
Curry said thought he initiated enough contact from Chris Paul to get a foul call. He was left pondering the state of the best-of-seven series after the Clippers had once again succeeded with the strategy of making his teammates beat them.
"It's frustrating, but it's not over," Curry said.
Curry was held to 16 points after spending much of the first half relegated to being the facilitator rather than the scorer. The problem for the Warriors was that outside of Curry, they combined to shoot 3 for 23 from 3-point range.
Curry hit two last-minute 3-pointers to cut what had been an 18-point Clippers lead down to 97-96 with 11 seconds left. The Warriors went for the win after Paul hit one free throw on the other end to finish with 15 points, but Curry's attempt over Paul fell short.
"I thought it was a great play," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "I don't think anybody's going to bail (Curry) out."
The Clippers, meanwhile, had no issues getting their star player going on offense as Blake Griffin continued to dominate. He scored a game-high 32 points as he made difficult shot after difficult shot at crucial periods in the game.
In the final minute, Griffin drew a controversial blocking foul on Draymond Green and hit a free throw to give the Clippers a 97-93 lead. That gave the Clippers just enough breathing room to take Game 3.
"It's going to be a long series," Warriors coach Mark Jackson insisted.
DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 22 rebounds along with five blocked shots as he dominated the paint area where the Warriors had their struggles.
Curry had 15 assists, throwing an alley-oop to Andre Iguodala for a dunk to cut the lead to 79-70. But after Green's steal on the other end created a fast break opportunity, Iguodala committed Golden State's 17th turnover of the evening on a pass stolen by Paul.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 26 points, but he struggled to a 2-for-11 shooting performance from 3-point range. Green helped ignite the comeback attempt with 13 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, but he committed four first-half turnovers and fouled out in the end.
The Warriors trailed 75-64 heading into the fourth quarter after getting down by as many as 18 points in the third.
Griffin came out of the locker room after halftime and scored 10 straight points, using a flurry of bank shots and turnarounds that were executed in part because the Warriors continued to avoid double-teaming the MVP candidate.
The Warriors became frustrated after Iguodala stole the ball and missed a layup on the other end, with Paul improbably earning a team rebound by going out of bounds to bounce the ball off Iguodala.
On the other end, J.J. Redick hit a 3-pointer to start a 12-3 run that was capped off by another Redick shot from beyond the arc to give the Clippers a 68-50 lead. He finished with 14 points.
The Warriors trailed 46-43 at halftime, but they had to feel good about themselves after scoring the final six points of the half.
For more on the Warriors, see the Inside the Warriors blog at ibabuzz.com/warriors.
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The Clippers' DeAndre Jordan blocks the path of the Warriors' Klay Thompson in the first quarter of Game 3.