OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Mark Jackson calls it a thing of beauty, watching point guard Stephen Curry shoot. Certainly Curry's performance Monday qualified as picturesque.
Curry scored 16 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter as the Warriors stormed back to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 106-99. He made four of his six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and two were downright poetic as he curled off a screen and pulled up in one fluid mission.
But not everything he did was a pleasure to the eyes.
"That dance you did on the sidelines," Warriors guard Jarrett Jack said to Curry as he left the locker room, "that was terrible."
Curry had a few celebratory moments to critique, because he made several huge plays as the Warriors erased a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit.
The Clippers took control late in the third quarter. With the Warriors playing their better defenders and unable to score, Los Angeles produced a 12-0 run, turning Golden State's five-point lead into an 80-73 deficit entering the fourth quarter. Over the final 3:12 of the third quarter, the Warriors missed four consecutive jumpers and turned the ball over twice.
But the Warriors got their rhythm back in the fourth quarter.
Jack nailed a jumper, then hit Curry for a transition 3-pointer. The Warriors trailed 82-80. Curry sank two more 3-pointers over the next two minutes, the latter from the right corner to put the Warriors up 88-86.
Curry raised his arms to the crowd, pumped his fist and skipped back on defense. He then set up Jack with a Magic Johnson-esque bounce pass through traffic for a fast-break layup and did a shimmylike dance near the Warriors bench.
Blake Griffin settled things down for the Clippers with back-to-back jump hooks in the lane. Then, after a missed hook by the Warriors' David Lee, Jamal Crawford hit a 3-pointer to give the Clippers the lead again, 93-90.
The Warriors trailed 95-92 with less than four minutes left when they put together another run.
After two free throws by Jack and a missed 3-pointer by the Clippers' Chris Paul, Curry drove and set up Carl Landry for a layup. The Warriors produced two more stops, and Curry's 3-pointer made the score 99-95 with 1:26 left.
He galloped to the huddle as the Clippers called a timeout.
"Just staying aggressive," Curry said. "We have a lot of chemistry, and Jarrett has been playing great all year. We work well together when he has the ball and I'm coming off screens, and vice versa. So it's a lot of fun playing with a cagey veteran like him."
The Warriors (25-15) have won the season series over the Clippers 3-1, which could have playoff implications though they are six games behind Los Angeles (32-10) in the Pacific Division.
"That's a young team improving for sure, but we have our sights set on playing in June," said Crawford, a former Warrior. "I'm not saying they don't. But we're looking at bigger goals than celebrating everything."
Lee returned to the lineup after missing Saturday's win at New Orleans because of a sprained left ankle. He said it was still a bit tender but well enough for him to play. Lee struggled to score, finishing with 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting, but he had 11 rebounds and six assists in 39 minutes.
The Warriors front line had their hands full with Griffin. The Clippers' All-Star starter dominated most of the night, totaling 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists in 41 minutes. He forced the Warriors to double-team him, which opened up the floor for Crawford (24 points) and Caron Butler (19).
It took an explosive fourth quarter from Curry to put away the Clippers, along with some timely defense. Over a three-minute stretch at the end of the game, the Warriors held the Clippers to four points on 1-of-6 shooting and now have won back-to-back games for the first time since the end of December.
"We didn't feel like we lost momentum," Jackson said. "We lost to some good teams. I never promised that we were going to go undefeated. ... Those aren't bad losses. ... You don't want to overreact to losses."
Rush tore two ligaments Nov. 2 against Memphis. His rehab will start immediately, the team said, and he will miss the remainder of the season.
Rush previously said he would be ready for training camp, but because his surgery was delayed more than two months, that would make for a quick return.
Oklahoma City (32-9) at Warriors (25-15), 7:30 p.m. CSNBA