Blake Griffin played only 19 minutes and 14 seconds in the Clippers’ 109-105 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Saturday’s opener of their first-round Western Conference playoff series at Staples Center.
Griffin scored 16 points and grabbed three rebounds – well below his season averages – and his defense in the paint was missed, to be sure. That has to change, guard J.J. Redick said.
“I mean, he’s one of the best players in the NBA, so that was huge for us to not have him over half the game, really,” said Redick, who had a fine game with 22 points on 8 of 11 shooting. “We need him to stay on the court, we need him to play 40 minutes and be involved. He’s made such progress on both sides of the basketball, he’s such an important piece of what we do.”