What you need to know from the Warriors’ lopsided win over the Clippers

Stephen Curry, shown on Jan. 3, punctuated his spectacular road trip with a 45-point onslaught on Saturday afternoon. (Andy Jacobsohn/Dallas Morning News/TNS)

Stephen Curry, shown on Jan. 3, punctuated his spectacular road trip with a 45-point onslaught on Saturday afternoon. (Andy Jacobsohn/Dallas Morning News/TNS)

Stephen Curry dropped 45 points on the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors took care of their erstwhile rival, 121-105, capping the club’s 3-0 road trip on Saturday afternoon.

On a day when the Dubs pushed their record to 32-8, Curry produced yet another virtuoso performance and a couple of slumping subs excelled, here’s what we learned…

Curry keeps validating the Warriors’ decision to play it very cautiously during his rehab. Against the Clippers, Curry delivered his best game in the wake of  his return — and that’s saying something. In the four games since the Warriors made sure the Baby Faced-Assassin nursed his ankle all the way back to full health — and then some — Curry is averaging an even 36 points per outing.

With the Warriors routing the Clippers, Curry’s services weren’t needed in the final quarter but his 30-minute performance was something to behold.

The two-time MVP opened with a 17-point first quarter and ended up hitting eight of 16 shots from beyond the arc — missing his final two attempts. That showing actually “dropped” his post-injury 3-point shooting percentage to 58.4 percent.

The only reason Curry didn’t put 50 on the Clippers was because head coach Steve Kerr — always with the big picture in mind — keep the guard anchored to the bench for the final stanza.

Early on, it looked like Curry was the only Warrior awake for the matinee. While Curry was bombing 3-pointers from the jump, the rest of the team appeared to be feeling the effects of a 12:30 p.m. tip.

Exhibit A: Klay Thompson, who began the afternoon 1-for-9 from the field. To ask Thompson, an LA native, to play at that early hour is practically entrapment.

The Warriors coasted to a 64-55 lead at the break before dropping the hammer  — as they so often do — in the opening quarter of the second half.

Curry exploded for 16 points as the Warriors sprinted to a 103-76 lead. That +18 differential makes Golden State +239 in the third on the season. For context, the Boston Celtics, the current kings of the East, are +219 — on the year.

JaVale makes the most of his opening on an equal opportunity kind of afternoon. A couple of days after Kerr rolled Kevon Looney out for some unexpected extended run, Saturday was JaVale McGee’s day to see the floor.

The first big in off the bench, McGee’s most noteworthy first-half contribution was catching Blake Griffin with an inadvertent elbow, resulting in a concussion for the Clipper star.

After drawing DNP-Coach’s Decisions in three of the last four games, McGee flew around the floor — a la the 2017-2017 season. McGee totaled 11 points (4-for-5 from the field), four rebounds and a pair of blocks in 13 minutes.

Kerr played all four of his centers in the beatdown, giving David West a half-day off. The veteran scored 10 points in eight second-quarter minutes before Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell handled the garbage time.

The return of Andre plus-minus. Andre Iguodala, starting for the second time in as many games with Kevin Durant nursing a calf strain, still has zero confidence with his shot. The wing was 0-for-2 — including a botched layup — but he provided all sorts of contributions.

Iguodala recorded four rebounds and seven assists as he finished +20 in 23 minutes — all while scoring two points.

kbuscheck@sfexaminer.comAndre IguodalaGolden State Warriorsjavale mcgeeKlay ThompsonLos Angeles ClippersNBAStephen Curry

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