DEANDRE'S DUNK RESONATES AFTER WIN
LOS ANGELES – Hours after DeAndre Jordan’s dunk soaring above Brandon Knight had been completed and the Clippers’ had wrapped up their 32-point victory over the Pistons, the audio clip from the highlight echoed through the Staples Center press room.
The voice of Clippers’ broadcaster Ralph Lawler screaming, “Oh what a monster jam by DeAndre Jordan” was cranked up. The conversation about updated Wikipedia pages, Twitter trends and the dunk itself were all at full tilt.
It was 11 p.m. PST and “DeAndre Jordan” was trending No. 6 in the United States, according to Twitter. Right behind, No. 5, “Brandon Knight.”
It was the kind of play that has to be seen to be believed. Blake Griffin, the NBA’s in-game dunk king, was on the bench when the play was finished and said he didn’t know what to do.
“I was just running around [on the sideline],” Griffin said. “I honestly couldn’t believe it for a while. I was just kind of running in circles.”
Later, Griffin Tweeted from his official account @blakegriffin32: "Well boys and girls that is what you call 'the dunk of the year' by @deandrejordan. Best dunk I've ever seen in person. #trump"
Reigning MVP LeBron James agreed with Griffin, Tweeting: "DeAndre Jordan!!! Dayyyuummmm!! dunk of the year"
ESPN's SportsCenter ran six replays, including Lawler and Clippers radio announcer Brian Sieman's calls. And NBA.com called it a "masterpiece."
The dunk came with 4:32 left in the second quarter and was part of a 12-2 flurry by the Clippers. Jordan slipped a pick from Lamar Odom and dove to the basket.
Chris Paul, who was on the right wing, lobbed the ball towards the front of the rim, Jordan caught it, reared back with his right hand and threw it down over Knight, who was waiting under the basket and leapt to contest the shot.
“You’ve got to protect the basket, but DeAndre Jordan is super athletic and made a hell of a play,” Pistons reserve forward Jonas Jerebko said. “You know Brandon did what he could, but when you’ve got a player like that and he gets an opportunity, and as athletic as he is, it was an amazing play by him.”
The force of the slam knocked Knight, who weighs 76 pounds less than Jordan, to the floor, although he was called for a foul. Jordan flung himself off the rim and walked a few steps into the crowd, which had become enthralled as the play was showed over and over again on the video board in the arena.
“I didn’t see Brandon until I caught the ball,” Jordan said. “After that it was just a wrap. Usually, when I get that dunk nobody is right there, but this is the first time somebody tried to block it.”
Paul added: “I haven’t seen a replay of it yet. All I have in my memory bank is the pass and the aftermath.”
Small forward Caron Butler rushed to Jordan and leapt onto him, wrapping his arms around his shoulders.
“That was the fastest I think I’ve ever seen Caron Butler move so I guess it was ok,” Jordan quipped. “I guess I would rank that one number one. I mean Ronny [Turiaf] was dancing back there so I guess he liked it.”
The Clippers bench, including Turiaf and Griffin, appeared near giddy. And Paul unleashed a scream before pushing Jordan in the back after the dunk was completed.
“I usually try not to react after all those different kind of dunks,” Paul said. “But that one was pretty good. Me and [Jordan] had been trying to get that play for two or three possessions and I kept telling him slip, you’re open, slip. And we finally got it.”
The room of reporters and the Twitterverse after the game seemed glad Paul and Jordan got it as well.