Blake Griffin says he is 75-80 percent, will play vs. Spurs

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You knew Blake Griffin was hurting when he sat out much of the fourth quarter of Game 7 against the Grizzlies — the Clippers aren’t sitting their best big man down the stretch of a Game 7 unless they have to. Griffin landed awkwardly on a leap around the basket in Game 5 and played through a sprained knee the next two games, but was never moving well.

He admits he’s 75-80 percent but is going to give it a go and play in Game 1 against San Antonio on Tuesday, he told the media. Not a shock there.

With the Clippers going seven games against the Grizzlies there hasn’t been a lot of time to rest and let his knee recover. And now he gets Tim Duncan as a matchup. Welcome to the playoffs. Here are Blake’s quotes, via NBA.com.

“Yeah, no doubt. I’ll be playing tomorrow,” Griffin said following the Clippers’ practice on Monday afternoon. “I’m not 100 (percent). It’s tough to say. Hopefully by tomorrow night, 75 to 80. Hopefully, more than that. But realistically, probably not much more than that.

“Playing Friday night and then Sunday at noon was less rest than I normally get and that might have made it a little worse. But my knee (structurally) hasn’t gotten worse. That’s the encouraging thing. It’s one of those things where it needs time and we don’t have much of that.”

Coach Vinny Del Negro admitted that if this were the regular season Griffin would get a week or two off, but right now even the playoffs in the West are on a condensed schedule that includes a Saturday/Sunday back-to-back. Griffin is going to have to both play through it and play well, because the scouting report says that Duncan guy is pretty good.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)