Blake Griffin scored a game-high 32 points in the Clippers’ 98-96 victory over the host Golden State Warriors on Thursday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Griffin made 15 of 25 from the field.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson was impressed.
“He’s playing at a high level right now,” Jackson said. “He’s making plays and making shots and we are forcing him to be a jump-shooter and he’s making jump shots. He’s having an outstanding series capping off an outstanding year. We gave him different looks and he’s making tough shots.”
Game 4 is Sunday afternoon at Oracle Arena.
Griffin, by the way, played 43 minutes and 44 seconds.
The Clippers somewhat surprisingly lost Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series to Golden State on Saturday at Staples Center. They bounced back in a big way Monday by destroying the Warriors to the tune of 138-98 in Game 2, also at Staples Center.
Blake Griffin, who Monday scored 35 points – a career playoff high – suggested Tuesday at practice that the team keeping its collective head up helped.
“After Game 1 you can’t just hang your head and say, ‘This is terrible, this is awful,’ ” Griffin said. “You have to accept that feeling and you have to accept what you did wrong.”
By the same token, the team can’t get too full of itself after one fantastic performance, Griffin intimated.
“You can’t expect every game to go like that,” Griffin said. “So I think it’s just about coming in today and going over what we made mistakes on and correcting them and moving on from there.”
Game 3 is Thursday at Golden State.
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.”
It turns out the Clippers weren’t the only one to receive a cold dose of reality with a 109-105 Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.
Shortly before fouling out with 48.3 seconds left in the game, Clippers forward Blake Griffin tossed a cup of water in frustration that soaked a Warriors fan sitting behind him along the scorer’s table.
The Warriors fan appeared upset after being drenched, while Griffin appeared upset for drawing his sixth foul.
“I heard him say something. But I didn’t know exactly what I did,” Griffin said afterwards. “It wasn’t full though after I take my mouth piece out. After I took my mouth piece out and picked up the cup, if I did, I apologize. It’s water.”
Lots has been made about the dislike that exists between the Clippers and their first-round playoff opponent – the Golden State Warriors. Much of it stems from incidents involving Blake Griffin.
On Christmas Day, Griffin was given two technical fouls in a two-point loss at Golden State, his teammates claiming the Warriors were purposely trying to lure Griffin into the technicals. Then, March 13 at Staples Center, Jermaine O’Neal of Golden State and Griffin engaged each other in a verbal altercation during a timeout, and O’Neal – apparently the instigator – was assessed a technical. After the game, O’Neal sought out Griffin and found him outside the Clippers’ locker room. The two got into a heated discussion, by all accounts.
Griffin on Friday at practice was asked if there are any lingering issues with O’Neal.
“I don’t have Jermaine’s number, so I don’t really talk to him,” Griffin said, “so I don’t know if there’s any lingering issues or not.”
O’Neal – typically a backup – is expected to start Saturday when the teams square off at 12:30 p.m. at Staples Center in the series opener. He’s spelling Andrew Bogut, who is out with a fractured rib.
By the way, Griffin was asked about the “hate” that exists between the teams. He said he thought that was too strong a word. He suggested “dislike” is more appropriate.
From NBA Clutch Time, here’s more than 11 minutes of Blake Griffin highlights from the regular season. Enjoy.