The blood poured out of Blake Griffin’s nose like a streaming river. His face looked battered and bruised as if a bouncer jumped him outside of a club.
Yet, Griffin was not whistled a foul as he went up against Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka for one inexplicable reason.
“I got hit, took an elbow to my nose,” Griffin said. “When I asked the [official] about it, he said I ran my face into his elbow. So I got to be careful where I put my face.”
Griffin delivered that line with the same deadpan and sarcastic expression that has made his Kia commercials pure comedy. But the explanation also taps into Griffin’s league-wide reputation as someone who collects Oscar nominations in both instigating confrontations and then showing pain.
But in this case, Griffin’s 34 points on 13 of 22 shooting marked a more aggressive approach in driving to the basket after spending the past two playoff games mostly shooting jumpers.
“I was just being aggressive, attacking early, facing up, trying to be the aggressive one,” Griffin said. “It doesn’t really mean much if you don’t get a win.”