OAKLAND, CA - Stephen Curry made a career playoff-high seven 3-pointers and scored 33 points, leading the Golden State Warriors past the Los Angeles 118-97 on Sunday to even a first-round series that has been pulled into a race-related scandal involving the Clippers' owner.
Clippers players made a silent protest against Donald Sterling by shedding their warm-up jerseys and going through pregame routine with their red shirts on inside out. They also wore black bands on their wrists or arms and black socks in a show of solidarity.
Curry and the Warriors made another kind of statement.
The All-Star guard made his first five 3s to give Golden State a 20-point lead in the first quarter that held up most of the way. Curry shot 10 for 20 from the floor, including 7 of 14 from beyond the arc, and had seven assists and seven rebounds to help the Warriors snap a two-game skid.
Golden State outshot Los Angeles 55.4 to 42.9 percent. The Clippers had 19 turnovers, while the Warriors had a series-low 15 turnovers.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
Andre Iguodala added 22 points and nine assists, and David Lee, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes each scored 15 as the Warriors regained their shooting touch in front of a roaring, gold-shirt wearing sellout crowd of 19,596 that stood after every swish.
Jamal Crawford scored 26 points, and Blake Griffin had 21 points and six rebounds for a Clippers team wrapped up in the most talked-about topic in sports.
The game almost became an afterthought -- until tipoff anyway -- after an audio recording surfaced Saturday on TMZ purportedly of Sterling making comments urging a woman to not bring black people to his team's games. The alleged comments, which are under investigation by the NBA, have set off reactions of anger and calls for action through the league.
New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attended the game and met privately with former All-Star guard and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is advising the players union on the Sterling situation. Johnson even held a news conference during halftime that spilled well into the fourth quarter.
Silver has said he hopes for a quick resolution after the league investigates, and that Sterling has already agreed not to attend Game 5.
Once the ball was thrown up and the crowd roared, the Warriors quickly put the Clippers in a hole they could never recover from.
Curry's five 3-pointers in the first quarter tied a franchise-playoff record for a quarter, matching a mark he and Thompson set last year. Golden State led by 20 in the first quarter, 23 in the second quarter and 66-48 at the half.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson used more smaller lineups -- with power forward David Lee playing center for long stretches -- to spread the floor than he had at any point in the series, which big man Andrew Bogut has sat out for with a fractured right rib.
The Clippers never closed within single digits at any point in the second half, even after Thompson fouled out with 6:13 remaining in the fourth.
Curry kept on shooting -- and kept on hitting -- to send the series back to Los Angeles tied.