Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors
MVP: Blake Griffin. The Clippers forward didn’t shoot particularly well (13-for-28) from the field, but salvaged broken plays at key moments. Griffin was all the more crucial given Chris Paul’s lackluster production against the Warriors.
That was… exhilarating: Danny Granger had an excellent 7-for-11 shooting night. But one of his few misses provided Blake Griffin the opportunity for a breathtaking, earth-shaking putback dunk.
Defining moment: Over an 11-minute stretch in the third and fourth quarters, the Golden State Warriors scored only 10 points while the Clippers posted 22. The prolonged run by L.A. cemented Golden State’s demise and the Clippers’ victory.
– Curtis Harris
The Dunk Of The Year
Tweet(s) Of The Game
Shut it down. Let’s go home.
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) March 13, 2014
"I AM THE EVENT HORIZON." – Blake Griffin
— Andrew Lynch (@AndrewLynch) March 13, 2014
Tonight was Danny Granger's highest-scoring game (18 points) since April 19th, 2012.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) March 13, 2014
Chris Paul still working on his shot after the game. pic.twitter.com/q28D9FxiH9
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) March 13, 2014
Griffin to O'Neal: "Why you want to walk up on me? Leave that (stuff) on the court." O'Neal to Blake: "I'm a monster off the court."
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) March 13, 2014
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) March 13, 2014
The Depth Charge
|Ryan Hollins, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Hedo Turkoglu, PF||6||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||2||2||0||0||0||1||0||+3||0|
|Big Baby, PF||14||1-3||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||1||0||0||0||2||+11||2|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
How long can the Clippers’ win streak last? Fred, Seerat and Andrew discuss that, and the hallway altercation between Blake Griffin and Jermaine O’Neal.
Check Your Messages
The Invisible Highlight
Blake Griffin’s ridiculous put-back dunk off of Danny Granger’s miss was the clincher for Los Angeles. It was on YouTube three minutes after Staples Center exploded at the sight of Griffin soaring through the air. It will be on Sportscenter and NBA.com highlight reels for a quite a bit.
You know what won’t be? The defensive possession beforehand.
Blake Griffin hedged hard on a Stephen Curry pick-and-roll to prevent Curry from having space to shoot, quickly recovered over to his man with both hands raised to block off a passing lane, which tipped away the pass headed in that direction. Glen Davis came up with the loose ball and the rest, as you know, is history.
Although it’s been said a million times before on a million different sites in a million different ways, that’s the evolution of Blake Griffin. So while Griffin’s high-flying art show dominates the highlights, his improvement everywhere else will continue helping himself and his team dominate the league. Nine in a row for the Clippers.
- David Vertsberger
The Warriors coined the #FullSquad excuse as a way to explain their struggles and schematic changes during the season. As games ebbed and flowed, the less Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry played, the more the Warriors struggled. The Clippers have lost Chris Paul for an extended period of time, J.J. Redick for possibly the rest of the season and dealt with lingering problems to Jamal Crawford and Jared Dudley. In stepped Danny Granger.
Without Redick and Crawford against the healthy Warriors, they clamped down late second half and a putback Blake Griffin slam essentially ended the game. The Clippers trimmed their rotations down and got 7-of-11 shooting and 18 huge points from Granger. He came out of the halftime with bags taped to his knees, but still tossing up jump shots. In one memorable moment, he blew by athletic swingman Harrison Barnes for a layup in the third quarter.
When Paul went down, Griffin stepped up in an MVP way. Now with ancillary members of the rotation down, there’s no excuse coming from the reigning Pacific Division champions and the Clippers keep chugging along; winners of nine straight and just three games behind the first-place Spurs.
- Andy Liu
Breakdown Of A Breakdown
Willie Green came into the game versus the Warriors shooting only 33 percent from three, a five-year low. Green was on his game tonight, scoring a game-high 13 points in another Clippers win. And if there’s one spot Green feels great about, it’s the right corner, where he has made 13-of-27 threes (48 percent).
One of those threes came off a broken play in the third quarter that required an unlikely playmaker in Matt Barnes. A Chris Paul-Blake Griffin pick and roll didn’t work, resulting in Barnes receiving a pass above the left break. Instead of forcing the ball to Griffin at the top of the key, Barnes drove. He had no shot, but with his left hand, he found Green in his spot in the right corner for a three with the clock running down.
If the Clippers can recognize Green’s sweet spot, he’ll give the offense even more options. And after another heavy scoring night against a top defense, it’s getting harder to fathom how many more options there are.
- Lawrence Murray
Will The Wins Ever Stop?
The Clippers have won nine games in a row, and it doesn’t seem like the winning streak is going to end any time soon. The Clips’ next six games go at Utah, vs. Cleveland, at Denver, vs. Detroit, vs. Milwaukee and at New Orleans. There is a back-to-back mixed in there, but the Clippers will be heavy favorites in each of those games. Could this team enter a road stretch of Dallas, Houston, Minnesota and Phoenix on a 15-game winning streak? It seems more and more possible with each win.
- Fred Katz
Second Day Story
Danny Granger had easily his best game as a Clipper with 18 points while using only 13 possessions. But before we declare him the panacea to the wing depth issues, tonight’s opponents included a cautionary tale about getting too excited over one performance from an enigmatic bench player. Last night against Dallas, Jordan Crawford had 19 points on only 12 possessions. Tonight? Zilch on 0-5 shooting.
Let’s see Granger make the same assortment of spot-ups, pull-ups and leaners again against Utah or Cleveland. More importantly, let’s see him do it again versus a team with something to play for. Anyone can be a star for a day. What the Clippers need is not a one day-a-week star, but a reliable assembly-line worker. It’s great that Granger still has something, but does he have anything left for tomorrow and the next day and the say after?
- Seth Partnow
I had a whole theme for this post, a think-piece about the Clippers’ chances in ugly games. Games in which the jumpers aren’t falling, length is bothering Chris Paul and/or Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick are in street clothes. I was going to write about how this was one of those games, uglier than the matching wispy goatees on the barely post-pubescent ‘Splash Brothers,’ and how the Clippers finally had the horses in Granger, Big Baby, Collison, and a streaking Matt Barnes to overcome these less-than-beautiful nights. But then, streaking in from mid-court my plans were ruined by THE FLYIN’ LION!!!!!! How could I even think about anything else?
Blake Griffin has had some spectacular nights lately, but he hasn’t had the sort of explosive highlights that have characterized his previous seasons, instead relying on jumpers, made free throws, and a new-and-improved slick (if unspectacular) set of post moves. That (by his standards) YouTube drought ended tonight, with what was perhaps Blake’s most amazing play that didn’t involve the names Mozgov, Perkins, or Gallinari.
He came flying out of nowhere, from way off screen, to catch a missed Danny Granger 3-point try in his right hand and tomahawk it through the hoop. It gave the Clippers a seven-point lead with just over eight minutes to play, but more importantly it almost brought the house down around the Warriors. The Warriors rushed their next play, a missed Klay Thompson jumper, and then Draymond Green took a silly cheap shot foul at Griffin in the open court. They were out of sorts and the Clippers were inspired. Though it didn’t put the game away for good, it was a huge moment.
What I really want to know, though, is how long Ralph Lawler had that nickname up his sleeve.
- Ben Mesirow