Blake Griffin’s passing fancy lifts LA Clippers to victory

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> There are the dunks. There are the commercials. There are the jokes. But when Blake Griffin is at his most fun to watch, it’s the passes.In the first half, while he was uncharacteristically out of flow, Griffin found his teammates for big shots. In the second half, when he was picking apart smaller Raptor defenders and getting easy buckets, he was still looking to do the same.Griffin’s playmaking was one of the deciding factors in the Clippers’ 123-115 victory over Toronto at Staples Center, snapping a four-game losing streak against the Raptors.“He’s doing everything for us,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. With the Raptors unable to get stops, the team turned to the desperate tactic of intentionally fouling DeAndre Jordan. The Clipper defense held while Jordan made 5 of 6 from the line, helping the lead balloon to 17.But, the Raptors, one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, weren’t done, even on the second night of a back-to-back. Playing against the Clippers bench, Toronto closed the quarter on a lightning quick 6-0 run to get the lead back into single digits.The Raptors continued to claw in the fourth quarter, getting within two possessions for big chunks of the fourth quarter, but the Clippers and Griffin made enough plays to keep the Clippers rolling.Sometimes they did it with defense; sometimes it was with offense.“That’s the mark of a good team,” Rivers said.At 13-2, the Clippers own the league’s best record, a half-game better than the Golden State Warriors. The team will head out on a six-game road trip beginning Wednesday in Dallas. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img With Kyle Lowry right in his chest, Griffin forced a double team and found Chris Paul for a wide open 3-pointer in front of the Toronto bench for the biggest of his seven assists. As devastating as he was when he looked for his teammates, Griffin was just as good finding points for himself.Griffin scored 26 points, his eighth game in a row with at least 20. He also grabbed seven rebounds.Five other Clippers — Jamal Crawford and the rest of the starting five — finished with at least 10 points. Luc Mbah a Moute hit a pair of 3s in the win playing against fellow Cameroonian Pascal Siakam — two of the four players to make it to the NBA from that country.Three of those points came in the first half when Griffin attacked the paint with speed and force, somehow catching Mbah a Moute out of the corner of his eye, setting him up for an open jumper.The Clippers built the lead behind a defensively strong start and a big third quarter from Griffin, who scored the Clippers’ first 10 points to start the second half.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *