OAKLAND -- Get well soon, Andrew Bogut. And you, too, Festus Ezeli.

The Warriors made it close in the end, but the mismatches inside in the Warriors' 98-96 Game 3 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday were all too obvious as Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan effectively had their way against their smaller hosts.

Griffin had 32 points and eight rebounds, while Jordan had 22 rebounds and five blocks to along with 14 points as the Clippers dominated the paint.

"Man, DeAndre and Blake are just two animals out there, just beastin' right now," Clippers guard Darren Collison said.

Much as was the case in Game 2, Griffin was all but unstoppable. He made 15 of 25 shots, using his power inside but also showing deft touch with a midrange bank shot.

"He's everything to our team right now," Collison said. "He's just playing with so much enthusiasm and force and power and mental toughness. Blake understands he can't be stopped, and that's scary."

Clippers coach Doc Rivers agreed.

"Yeah, he's just been great," Rivers said. "He's making jump shots, and that bank shot that he's added has taken him to a different level. You get up on him and he can go around you, if you back off on him he can use the glass."

As for Jordan, he was the dominant paint protector the Warriors have lacked without Bogut, who is still out indefinitely with a broken rib. Jordan was a nightmare for David Lee, blocking or altering the forward's shots much of the night. Lee finished with 12 points on 6-of-15 shooting.


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"He's a great defender, and he really protected the basket tonight," Rivers said of Jordan. "The blocks and the changed shots or the quick releases because he's around has been great for us all year."

Jordan has been upset the past few days that he only finished third in the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award.

"I don't see how he doesn't get it," Collison said. "He makes plays night in and night out, his athleticism is crazy. He took away Lee, the guards, everything."

  • While Bogut wasn't even on the bench for Game 3, Ezeli was and may be inching closer to playing, though he's not likely to play in Game 4 on Sunday. Coach Mark Jackson said the center, who is recovering from offseason knee surgery, has been cleared to step up his practice workouts.

    "He's now free for 1-on-1 full contact, he's now free 5-on-0 up and down the floor," Jackson said. "The next step is 5-on-5 contact, and we'll go from there. We'll be wise in how we handle him, and we'll also listen to his body. What we don't want to do is rush him back because we have a need. It's not fair to him. When he's ready, he'll play."

  • Fans on hand for Game 3 included Barry Bonds, Kevin Johnson, Eric Musselman, Kent Bazemore, Jarrett Jack and Brandon Rush.