Clippers point guard Chris Paul drives past Warriors point guard Stephen… (Ben Margot / Associated…)
Reporting from Oakland -- It became a shootout between the guards -- the Clippers' Chris Paul and Mo Williams and the Golden State Warriors' Monta Ellis.
Ellis won that, besting both Paul and Williams because his effort pushed the Warriors to a 104-97 victory over the Clippers on Monday night at Oracle Arena.
Ellis had 32 points on 11-for-20 shooting, making all four of his three-point attempts.
It was Ellis' floater that gave the Warriors a 100-97 lead the Clippers couldn't overcome.
Ellis also had five rebounds and four assists.
"He's a real tough cover," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "You try to force him to certain areas, but he's so athletic. He's just a scorer."
Paul had 24 points, but just four in the second half.
He had started the game strong, making six of seven shots. He also had four of his six assists in the first half and four of his five rebounds in the first 24 minutes.
At one point in the second quarter, Paul made three consecutive three-pointers.
But Paul missed eight of his nine shots in the second half, all four in the fourth quarter.
"This is a game we let slip away," Paul said. "Me down the stretch, I missed a lot of shots I should have made."
Williams had 22 points, 13 in the fourth quarter.
His 15-foot jumper gave the Clippers a 97-95 lead, their last of the game.
The Clippers were outscored, 9-0, the rest of the way, sending them to consecutive losses for the first time this season.
"This was a game we should have won," Williams said. "This is a tough loss for us."
After Stephen Curry made two free throws for a 102-97 Warriors lead with 54.8 second left, chants of "Beat L.A ... Beat L.A." rang out.
"It really came down to our defense not being able to get stops," Del Negro said. "Overall, we couldn't knock down some shots, either."
It didn't help that Blake Griffin was in foul trouble.
Griffin picked up his fourth foul midway through the third quarter and his fifth midway through the fourth.
He finished with 21 points and nine rebounds, but the Warriors did a good job keeping him in check.
"At the end of the day, we took care of the basketball and we got stops," Warriors Coach Mark Jackson said.
"I believe the score was 97-95 Clippers and we got into lockdown mode. We made life tough."
Ellis got help from an unlikely source.
Warriors center Ekpe Udoh scored a career-high 19 points.
"He was great, absolutely great," Jackson said.
Jackson had DeAndre Jordan intentionally fouled with 37.9 seconds left in the second quarter.
Just after Jordan was fouled, Paul threw up a long three-pointer that went in, even though it didn't count.
Jordan made one of two free throws.
Then it looked as if Jordan was intentionally fouled again by Dorell Wright, who repeatedly tapped the Clippers center in the chest right in front of referee Derrick Stafford.
But no fouled was call just as Paul threw up another long three-pointer. This one missed.
Udoh made a jumper to tie the score at 56-56 at the half.
Paul, Jordan and Del Negro all walked up to Stafford at halftime and asked why no foul had been called.
Jordan even showed Stafford what Wright did.
It didn't matter.
The Clippers went to their locker room unhappy.