Clippers take 2-1 lead vs Warriors

Reuters/The Sports Xchange

Posted at Apr 25 2014 04:52 PM | Updated as of Apr 26 2014 12:52 AM

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) reacts after Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) missed a three-point shot as time expires in game three of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Photo by Kelley L Cox, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

Point guard Chris Paul scored eight of his 15 points after the Golden State Warriors had closed to within one with 4:24 to play, lifting the Los Angeles Clippers to a 98-96 win in Game 3 of the Western Conference first-round series.

The Clippers, who lost Game 1 at home last Saturday, have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Clippers led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter and by 11 to begin the fourth, but they found themselves clinging to an 87-86 lead after Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson scored inside with 4:24 to play.

Power forward Blake Griffin, the Clippers' leading scorer with 32 points, dropped in a tough jumper from the right corner to increase the margin to three, and Paul took over from there.

The veteran nailed a 15-footer with 3:18 to go and then a three-pointer with 2:40 left to push the Clippers' advantage to 94-86.

Paul added three free throws in four attempts down the stretch as the Clippers held on for the narrow win.

Thompson led the Warriors with 26 points.