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Playoffs 2019

NBA Playoffs 2019: Takeaways from the Golden State Warriors' Game 4 victory over the LA Clippers

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Klay Thompson [NBA Getty Images]

It was a battle in Game 4 but the Golden State Warriors prevailed to pick up the road win over the LA Clippers.

The Warriors now lead the series 3-1, just one game away from a potential Western Conference Finals rematch with the Houston Rockets, who are up 3-0 in their series with the Utah Jazz.

Klay Thompson got things going early for his team, scoring 17 points in the first quarter, finishing with 32 points in the game.

Kevin Durant stepped up in a big way with Stephen Curry struggling to find his shooting stroke, scoring a game-high 33 points including a clutch seven points down the stretch of the fourth quarter.

The team effort spoiled a career-game from Clippers rookie guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who scored a career-best 25 points in the contest. Without major contributions from their usual leading scorers of Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell and Danilo Gallinari, the Clippers now travel to Oracle Arena with their season on the line in Game 5.

For more on the Warriors' Game 4 win, we have you covered with takeaways below...

Klay gets hot early

Klay Thompson is known for his ability to catch fire and score a lot of buckets in a short period of time - he did just that in the first quarter of this contest to get his Warriors' squad off to a hot start.

Thompson couldn't miss to start the game. He hit his first seven shot attempts in the contest, going 3-for-3 from long range to score 17 points in the first quarter.

He missed his final three shot attempts of the quarter, but that didn't stop him from firing away in the second frame. Thompson scored another 10 points in the second quarter to give him a scoring total of 27 points at the half, making up for Stephen Curry's struggles.

Thompson was 10-for-14 from the field and 5-for-6 from long range, giving Golden State a solid eight-point lead at halftime.

The sharpshooter went quiet in the third, failing to score on his sole shot attempt. He scored five quick points to start the fourth quarter but Kevin Durant handled the rest of the load to close out the game.

Thompson finished with 32 points going 12-for-20 from the field. This was his first game this postseason eclipsing 20 points, good for his best scoring total of the playoffs thus far.

Shai's career night

Not often do you see a rookie have an impact on a playoff team, let alone in a starting role.

It's even more rare to see a rookie put forth one of the best performances of their young career on such a big stage.

From the beginning of Game 4, it was clear that Clippers rookie point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was in for a special night. In the first quarter alone, Gilgeous-Alexander scored 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field and 2-for-4 shooting from beyond the arc.

The 20-year-old remained efficient and aggressive throughout the night and ahead of the final frame, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers lauded the rookie for his aggression and what it meant for LA.

Gilgeous-Alexander finished Game 4 with a team-high 25 points (on 9-for-15 shooting), which also exceeds his previous career-high of 24 points, set twice during the regular season.

In addition to SGA, rookies Jerome Robinson and Landry Shamet played quality minutes for LA in Game 4. The invaluable experience these rookies are picking up in the 2019 postseason places this Clippers team far ahead of schedule as this year is only the beginning of a new phase of basketball in Los Angeles.

With Gilgeous-Alexander at the forefront, this franchise has a very bright future.

A Lou-sy Game 4

In Games 1-3 of the series, Lou Williams averaged 25.7 points and 8.7 assists while shooting 51.9% from the field.

Game 4 was much different.

In just under 30 minutes of action, Williams scored just 12 points (on 2-for-10 shooting), adding four rebounds and three assists. LA's reigning Sixth Man of the Year struggled throughout the night as Golden State made a concerted effort to corral him on the defensive end.

It was the third-lowest scoring performance of Williams' playoff career and his lowest offensive output in the postseason since 2016.

As evidenced in the Clippers Game 2 win, big performances from Williams is what can allow LA's offence to keep up with that of Golden State. His contributions off the bench set the tone for players like Montrezl Harrell, who scored 10 points in Game 4 after averaging 22 points through Games 1-3.

Game 4 is much more of an anomaly than the norm, and Williams should be fully expected to bounce back in Game 5 as the Clippers face elimination. The one looming concern will be whether or not it will be enough to earn a win at ORACLE.

A rare off-game for Curry

Stephen Curry's teammate Klay Thompson put it best in his post-game interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters, quoting the team's motto when he was asked about Curry's off-game, "it's strength in numbers."

Game 4 was a rough one for Curry but the Warriors still found a way to win regardless.

Steph never found his stroke in this one, going 3-for-14 from the field and 1-for-9 from 3-point range for a total of 12 points.

12 points is Curry's rivals his 11-point performance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals last season for rough playoff performances.

Aside from that Finals game last year, it was his lowest playoff scoring total since 2016. In fact, this was his fifth lowest playoff scoring total of his career.

The Warriors' superstar point guard found other ways to contribute to his team's success, finishing with 10 rebounds, seven assists and three steals, but it was fortunate for Golden State that Thompson and Durant put up the numbers they did.

For the fourth consecutive game, his scoring total has dropped, though that shouldn't be too much of a concern for the Warriors given how many mouths they have to feed on the offensive end.

With his team up 3-1 in the series, one game away from closing things out and getting a potential rematch of last year's Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets in the second round, look for Curry to set fire to Game 5 at Oracle Arena to end this battle with the Clippers.

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