Blake Griffin was feeling it in Game 1 win for Clippers

first_imgSunday was his best showing.“I felt good,” Griffin said. “I felt really good. I mean, our offense was really clicking. I thought we were doing the things that we wanted to do. That helps when you’re getting easy shots. I got some right at the basket early, so that helps.”Is he almost there?“Pretty close,” Griffin said. “Pretty close to how I want to feel.”Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was stoked to see his teammate look at least close to himself.“I thought he was great,” Jordan said. “He scored the ball when he needed to score, he rebounded well, defended well, he got guys open looks. He’s such big part of our offense and our defense. If he plays like that, we’re a great team.”Portland coach Terry Stotts, who, like Griffin went to college at University of Oklahoma, praised his fellow alum.“I thought it was the best he’s played since he’s come back from his injury,” Stotts said. “He had a lot of bounce, got off to a good start in the first quarter.“Other than good to see an Oklahoma grad play well, it was, like I said, the best he’s played since he’s come back.”Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum was equally impressed.“He looks like he’s moving well,” McCollum said. “He’s being aggressive, attacking the rim and attacking the glass. He’s not quite himself yet. But he looked good.”Much to the Clippers’ delight. Blake Griffin ran the floor hard. He got up high and threw down tremendous dunks. He doled out pretty assists. In short, the Clippers’ power forward looked close to being himself Sunday night when the Clippers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 115-95 in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series before a sellout crowd of 19,122 at Staples Center.Griffin scored 19 points on 5 of 10 shooting, grabbed 12 rebounds, doled out six assists and had a steal and a block in nearly 32 minutes of play. Griffin missed his first shot, made his second and then made 1 of 2 from the free-throw line. He brought the crowd to its feet at 7:22 of the first quarter when he powered his way to the basket and threw down a wicked left-handed slam dunk.Just more than two minutes later, he made a nice little spin move in the paint and finished off the sequence with a layup. He made two free throws at the 4:09 mark and he had 10 of his team’s first 18 points on 3 of 4 from the field. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Griffin shot 0 of 3 in the second quarter and finished the half with 13 points, eight rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. On one play late in the quarter, Griffin drove to the basket and missed a tough off-balance shot. But he was going very hard, a sign he’s not holding back.Griffin threw down another vicious left-handed dunk over Blazers center Mason Plumlee early in the third quarter. Then, with Plumlee draped on him, Griffin got up high and dunked again two minutes later for a 65-48 lead.Coach Doc Rivers loved Griffin’s high-flying act.“Well, that’s a first,” he said. “I think his first basket was a lob when he first came back (April 3 against Washington). Other than that, he’s been below the rim. Tonight, he was explosive.”Griffin played in five of the Clippers’ final seven regular-season games after missing 45 in a row with injuries – a partially torn quad tendon and fractured hand – and a suspension. He scored six and four points in his first two games, respectively, on a combined 3 of 12 shooting. He scored 13, 17 and 12 points on 17 of 38 from the field his next three. In the game he scored 17 – in a 98-91 victory over Dallas on April 10 – Griffin also had 11 points, seven assists and two steals.last_img

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