THE FACTS: The Clippers have been winning plenty of games this season, but they accomplished something Wednesday night they hadn't done in two years. L.A. forward Blake Griffin recorded 23 points, a career-high 11 assists and 11 rebounds in a 117-101 victory against the Bucks at Staples Center, the third triple-double of his career and the first for the Clippers since Griffin recorded his second on the final day of the 2010-11 season.
QUOTABLE: "He's doing everything. He's finding people, he's making plays, he demands a lot of attention down there, so he's getting double-teamed and kicking out to our shooters."
-- Clippers guard Jamal Crawford
THE STAT: For the fourth consecutive game, Crawford scored at least 20 points off the bench. Crawford finished with a team-high 25 points, shooting 11-for-16 from the floor, his best shooting percentage since making 10 of 14 shots in the season opener. Crawford leads the league this season with 25 games of 20 or more points off the bench. The Clippers are 17-8 in those games.
TURNING POINT: The Bucks trailed by as many as 15 points in the opening half but stiffened on defense during the third quarter and got as close as 85-82 on a free throw by Samuel Dalembert with 54 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Chris Paul gave the Clippers some breathing room when he scored on a drive and then hit two free throws in the final second of the third. Crawford opened the fourth with another driving layup to push the lead to 91-82. The Bucks would cut the deficit back to five once more with 9:49 left in the game but a 10-0 burst by L.A. put the hosts up by 15 and Milwaukee was out of comebacks.
QUOTABLE II: "We just couldn't get over the hump. We would make a run or two and they'd come down and score, or somebody would hit a 3. ... It was pretty tough."
-- Bucks guard Brandon Jennings
HOT: The Clippers had three players score 20 or more points against the Bucks. Matt Barnes pitched in 20 points while making a season-high six 3-pointers on 10 attempts. Barnes came into the game averaging a career-high 10.6 points. When he scores in double figures off the bench this season, the Clippers are 26-6. The Bucks had some hot shooters on their side as well. Monta Ellis shot 9-for-15 and scored 22 points, and Ersan Ilyasova shot 7-for-12 and scored 20. Jennings also continues to play well, shooting 5-for-10 from 3-point range and finishing with 18 points and 12 assists.
NOT: Since the Bucks acquired J.J. Redick at the trade deadline last month, they won four out of five games, including four straight coming into the game against the Clippers. Redick, who came over from Orlando, had scored between 14 and 17 points in his first five games with Milwaukee, but managed just one basket on five attempts against L.A., finishing with three points in 22 minutes.
GOOD MOVE: The Clippers put another wrinkle into their lob portfolio. As they were pulling away midway through the final quarter, Crawford and Griffin sped off on a 2-on-0 breakaway, with Crawford handling the ball. As he began to rise in the air, Crawford flipped the ball from his right hand to his left then passed the ball through his legs back to his right hand. While still in midair, he then tossed a no-look lob to the trailing Griffin, who finished the play off with a powerful dunk. On the next defensive series, Griffin rebounded Redick's missed 3-pointer to secure his triple-double.
BAD MOVE: That five-year, $32-million contract Drew Gooden signed in the summer of 2010 is looking worse by the day. Gooden, the third-highest paid player on the team, sat out for the third straight game and ninth time in the last 11 games. At the very least, Gooden could have used up a few fouls while trying to slow Griffin, a player he practiced with while playing half a season in L.A. during Griffin's rookie year.
NOTABLE: Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers watched the game from courtside. ... The Bucks are 1-12 against the Clippers in L.A. since the 2000-01 season. ... The Clippers shot 54 percent from the floor, the fifth straight game they've shot better than 46 percent. ... Paul, who entered the game No. 1 in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.37), finished with nine assists and no turnovers. ... Bucks forward Larry Sanders did not block a shot against the Clippers, ending a streak of 40 consecutive games with at least one block, the longest-active streak in the NBA and fourth-longest in the last five years. The Bucks recorded one block as a team, matching their season low
UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Thursday @ Denver, Sunday vs. Detroit, Wednesday vs. Memphis. For the Bucks, Saturday @ Golden State, Sunday @ Sacramento, Tuesday vs. Dallas.