Game Notes: Spurs at Clippers
Blake Griffin. Believe the hype.
Some act with poles and weird, purple-flecked jumpers.
You’ll have to forgive me. I didn’t pay attention.
It’s the return of the Blake Griffin show! Or should I say…nevermind, you get the idea. Gladiator overload.
The reigning Rookie of the Month begins the quarter with a steal/breakaway layup and never looks back. He reels off 7-straight points and suddenly the lead is up to 12, 54-42.
The best is yet to come.
Later in the quarter, Tiago Splitter checks in and Blake nearly Mozgovs him, coming at Splitter like a man possessed, elbow cocked, ready to pummel the rim hanging over his head. But Splitter is saved the embarrassment. Blake’s dunk attempt clangs off the back of the rim.
Big sigh of relief back in Brazil.
Sidenote — Splitter gets called for a foul on Blake’s missed dunk. This confirms a suspicion of mine: Blake is already getting star calls. Welcome to the club, young buck.
Tonight’s announced attendance: 16,584. Act like you know!
Blake delivers his fourth spectacular dunk of the night at the 2:25 mark. Dodging an aggressive Manu, he goes underneath the basket for a monstrous reverse two-handed jam. Twitter lights on fire. The fire department is alerted but never comes.
They know the fire never stops when Blake’s in the house.
With the score 70-65, Bledsoe charges Splitter, gets lost in Splitter’s chest, throws up a prayer and hits it. And one; Clippers go up 7.
Sidenote No. 2 — So far Tony Parker has played just over 18 minutes and scored 2 points. Pop will later choose not to bring him into the game in the fourth quarter. There is no reported injury. Something is definitely up.
The third quarter ends with the Clippers ahead 70-63.
Can they hold the lead?
Of course they can! (I already told you…90-85 upset special.)
Eric Gordon starts things off with an acrobatic layup. Shot plus the foul equals, you guessed it, another and one.
Gordon has surprised me with his inability to handle the ball. At this point, I don’t know who would fare worse in the All-Star Skills Challenge: Gordon or Eric Bledsoe.
OK, you’re right. My money’s on Bledsoe.
Ryan Gomes is still on the floor. No Aminu in sight. It appears VDN is going with experience. No reason to put this one in jeopardy.
Matt Bonner misses a wide open three-pointer, one of his six misses from three. Like I said earlier, he’s playing good defense though. (No sarcasm.)
Bledsoe started the fourth, but Baron comes back at the 7:38 mark. Again, Vinny’s not taking any chances.
Baron promptly betrays his coach’s trust and starts throwing the ball away like it’s reverse Earth Day. At one point, he throws an alley-oop to DeAndre Jordan with Jordan’s defender staring right at him. Not fooling anyone with that one, Baron.
San Antonio cuts the lead to 84-77, but that’s as close as they’ll get.
The Clippers continue to roll.
Jordan delivers the final highlight of the night, emphatically stuffing a Timmy D hook shot, much to the delight of a now-salivating Staples Center crowd.
I talk to Jordan after the game. He downplays the block because Duncan is a legend (you don’t mess with future Hall-Famers), but he smiles when I ask him how it felt. You can tell he’s proud.
And so should be the Clippers.
They entered the game the worst team in the West, playing the best team in the West, and they came out victorious.
Maximus led the charge. Baron dropped some dimes (10 to be exact). EG hit big shots. And the bench came through in critical stretches during the third and fourth quarters.
The game came down to energy, rebounding and defense, and the Clippers excelled at all three — more so than the Spurs (with the exception of George Hill, who scored 17 points and 3 steals off the bench).
In the end, it was all about Blake though.
A gladiator was called and he answered.
90-85 was the result.
Believe the hype, people.
Blake Griffin is for real.