GAMEDAY REPORT: CLIPPERS VS. WARRIORS - 3/12/14
Game #66 | March 12, 2014
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA
By: Eric Patten | Follow @EricPatten
ENTER TEXT HERE
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
REGULAR SEASON SERIES HISTORY
LAST TIME OUT
Pts: Griffin 37
|Wednesday, March 12, 2014||7:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Sunday, March 16, 2014||6:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Saturday, March 22, 2014||7:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Monday, March 24, 2014||7:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Thursday, April 3, 2014||7:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Sunday, April 6, 2014||12:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Wednesday, April 9, 2014||7:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Saturday, April 12, 2014||12:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Tuesday, April 15, 2014||7:30 PM||BUY NOW|
LOS ANGELES – Blake Griffin seemed intent on making sure eight wins in a row happened, but he needed a little help along the way.
Griffin scored 29 of his 37 points in the first half before fouling out with 3:23 to go and the Clippers got a double-double from Chris Paul, another monster night on the boards from DeAndre Jordan and 20 points from Darren Collison to hold off the Suns, 112-105, Monday night at Staples Center.
The victory the Clippers (45-20) their third longest winning streak in franchise history and moved them to within 2.5 games of the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with 17 games to play.
But the game took 2 hours and 36 minutes and included an ejection, a lengthy video review of a ball knocked out of bounds and 53 fouls.
“I thought it was a hard game to focus through. There was a lot of stuff, a lot fouls,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “You have to play through that. You have to adjust to that and I thought both teams kind of got off rhythm a little bit.”
The Clippers led by as many as 25 points, and controlled nearly every aspect of the game early, including earning a 62-45 lead at halftime behind Griffin’s 29 points, a career high for any half. But Phoenix (36-27) battled back to pull as close as six in the fourth quarter.
Their run began after forward P.J. Tucker was ejected with 5:28 remaining in the game for throwing a punch at Griffin’s throat after the two were entangled on the floor. Paul made the ensuing technical free throw putting the Clippers up by 15. But the play sparked a last-ditch effort from the Suns, who scored the next nine points and drew offensive fouls from Griffin on consecutive possessions, causing him to foul out with 3:23 left.
“We got tangled up and went down,” Griffin said. “And I took a little forearm, but it happens”
Tucker was called for a loose-ball foul in addition to a technical foul that resulted in the ejection. Griffin did not retaliate as a brief scrum broke out.
“I don’t want to put my team in a bad situation. I don’t want to put myself in a bad situation,” Griffin said. “You’ve got to weigh the pros and cons. We were up by double-digits and to do something stupid to get kicked out, get suspended, doesn’t help.”
Paul, who had 17 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and two steals, made a jumper from straightaway that banked in to curtail the Suns’ run. Matt Barnes (13 points) made three of his four free throws in the last 20 seconds to finally put the Suns away.
“We withstood the run,” said Danny Granger, who had 14 points, including 11 in the first half, a week after making his Clippers debut against Suns in Phoenix. “It got a little closer than we would have liked but it’s a win.”
Jordan, who swatted away a Goran Dragic layup attempt to help preserve the Clippers’ eight-point victory over the Suns a week ago, grabbed 17 rebounds, including six in the final period. He added eight points and three blocks. Collison scored 20 points with four assists.
Until what amounted to a tense final six minutes, Griffin owned the evening. He went 14-for-16 from the floor, scored 37 points with six rebounds and three assists. He opened the game with 22 points in the first quarter and had 35 points or more in a game for the eighth time this season, something he did just once in the previous two seasons combined.
“It was crazy,” Paul said. “I didn’t even realize he had 22 in the first quarter until I think halftime. I felt like the biggest dummy because he probably should’ve got the ball even more than he did. I know he gets off to good starts and stuff, but tonight was crazy.”
The Clippers scored 62 points in the first half. It was the 20th time they’ve had 60 or more in the opening half this season. They are 19-1 in those games… Griffin’s 29 first-half points were a career high… Modern Family’s Ty Burrell, Draya, Diplo and Skrillex were among those in attendance Monday… Barnes has scored 10 or more points in a career-high tying nine straight games… Griffin has scored 20 points or more in 23 consecutive games… The Clippers are 27-5 at home… They outrebounded the Suns, 42-36… The Clippers have committed 40 turnovers in the past two games…