They played Game 4 under the shadow of team owner Donald Sterling, who was allegedly caught on audiotape directing his mistress not to publicly associate with African-Americans, and not to bring them to Clippers games.

The revelations set off a firestorm, and Rivers admitted Saturday that his players had briefly considered boycotting Sunday's game. They decided to play. But when they took the court for pregame drills -#8212; with Sterling's wife, Rochelle, sitting courtside -#8212; the Clippers shed their warm-up tops, emblazoned with the team name, and ceremoniously dropped them in a pile at midcourt. They banked lay-ups wearing long sleeved team T-shirts turned inside-out, and each player wore a black armband in solidarity.

Whether the distractions of the preceding 24 hours played a role in the outcome of Game 4 will be debated a long time. The Clippers denied a connection. The Warriors seemed downright offended by the notion.

"I wouldn't be who I am if I allowed you guys to say that that was the reason why they lost," O'Neal said. "Let's be real. ... You gotta give credit when credit is due."

Whatever the reason, the Clippers came out sluggish, falling behind by 12 points before the game was six minutes old against a determined Warriors team that finally found its shooting touch.

Los Angeles would never recover.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry, bottled up for most of these playoffs, finally found some room to shoot, and he was spectacular. Curry tied a franchise record for 3-pointers in a quarter, nailing five in the first period, and finished with 33 points.

He was not alone in thwarting the Clippers. Small forward Andre Iguodala had one of his best games of the season, with 22 points (on only eight shots) and nine assists, and Lee, Klay Thompson and sub Harrison Barnes chipped in with 15 points apiece. Green didn't make a lot of impact on the stat book, but he set effective screens and played solid defense on Clippers star Blake Griffin.

Running back on defense early in the game, Green ran to the bench to greet O'Neal, who had helped make him a starter.

"Not every 18-year vet is gonna do that for a second-year guy," Green said. "It shows the selflessness about Jermaine. Most guys: 'I'll get it done.' You know? And he can get it done. But he felt we'd get off to a better start with me starting."

And the Warriors did. They finished strong, too. But they must win another game on the road to survive this series.

You can reach Staff Writer Phil Barber at