OAKLAND -- The Warriors are headed back to Los Angeles with a chance to close out a first-round playoff series with a win at Staples Center on Saturday.

The Warriors earned that right after their foul- and injury-plagued squad held off the Clippers 100-99 on Thursday at Oracle Arena in a win that knotted the series at three games apiece.

"I like my chances because I've got a group of guys that wants to do whatever it takes to win," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.

In a series filled with twists and turns, the Warriors gutted out a win despite losing big man Jermaine O'Neal to an injury and seeing David Lee foul out.

Stephen Curry scored a game-high 24 points and added nine assists, fulfilling his promise that he would keep on asserting himself on offense despite previous difficulty.

Draymond Green notched yet another playoff double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds, providing a challenge for Blake Griffin on defense.

Jamal Crawford came off the bench to lead the Clippers with 19 points, with Matt Barnes adding 18.

Blake Griffin had 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists before fouling out as he shot only 8 for 24 from the field.

DeAndre Jordan added nine points and 19 rebounds to go along with four blocks as he continued to control the paint.


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A limping Chris Paul played through a right hamstring injury that hampered him throughout the game and limited him to nine points and eight assists on 3-for-10 shooting. Darren Collison added 12 points playing major minutes in place of Paul.

Crawford hit a 3-pointer to cut the Warriors' lead to 96-92 with under two minutes remaining, and Barnes got the Clippers even closer with a layup.

Harrison Barnes drew a blocking foul on J.J. Redick with 55.6 seconds left, allowing Barnes to hit two free throws and give the Warriors a 100-96 lead. He had a rebound on the other end off a missed Paul layup attempt.

The Warriors turned it over, but the Clippers missed three shots before Matt Barnes hit a 3-pointer with just 1.1 seconds remaining.

Curry missed free throws with four-tenths of a second left as the clock expired.

Redick hit a 3-pointer to cut the Warriors' lead to 93-89 but then missed on his next try. The Warriors capitalized in a big way as Andre Iguodala was fouled by Griffin while making a 3-pointer. Iguodala missed the free throw attempt but finished with 15 points.

Lee fouled out with 9:44 left as Griffin completed a 3-point play. Lee finished his night with eight points and nine rebounds.

Marreese Speights checked into the game and responded with a 3-point play of his own, giving the Warriors an 83-77 lead. An ensuing Klay Thompson layup gave the Warriors an eight-point advantage.

"They were the tougher team tonight," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.

"The third quarter did us in."

The Warriors entered the fourth quarter with a 70-67 lead, with Green hitting a 3-pointer to give them a 63-59 lead.

The Warriors suffered a big blow in the second quarter when O'Neal had to be helped off the court after having suffered a right knee sprain from a collision with Glen Davis, who was going for a rebound.

O'Neal, the 35-year-old, 18-year veteran, had his knee buckle after Davis barreled into him and sent him crashing to the floor. The Warriors lost their backup center for the rest of the game, and it didn't help them that Speights committed four first-half fouls and Lee was whistled for three personals.

"Anything short of God coming back and rapture, anything short of that, I will play," said O'Neal, who will undergo an MRI exam.

Speights, who said after the game he believed the play involving O'Neal was a "dirty" one from Davis, went on to commit a technical foul for taunting Paul.

For more on the Warriors, see the Inside the Warriors blog at ibabuzz.com/warriors. Follow Diamond Leung on Twitter at twitter.com/diamond83.

INSIDE
  • Thompson:
    Heart helps
    Warriors defy odds, force
    Game 7. PAGE 6
  • Warriors angry over hit that caused O'Neal knee injury. PAGE 7