LOS ANGELES — “Right when I shot it I thought it was flat, short, off, everything.”
Blake Griffin has spent a lot of time with shooting coach Bob Tate this summer working on expanding his range and getting good arc on his shot — this shot had none of that arc. It wasn’t pretty. As he said above, he knew it when he shot it.
But that pretty much summed up Monday night’s game for the Clippers — it wasn’t pretty, they made a lot of mistakes (particularly on defense), but Griffin had 45 points on the night and his final three gave the Clippers a 121-120 overtime win over the Suns. That makes eight straight wins for the Clippers, although they had won the previous five by at least 17 points. This one they had to earn late — and get a little luck.
As one Suns player said, when you score 45 points those are the kinds of rolls you get.
Doc Rivers said this shot was not one Griffin would have had the confidence to take two years ago.
“I went for a three, but I also stepped back to get a little more room,” Griffin said.
“I thought it was an airball when he shot it,” Clippers guard J.J. Redick said. “The one time I’ll go to the offensive glass all year is on a buzzer beater. Then it hit the rim and I thought ‘that ball is going to get in.”
Griffin’s night ad shot overshadowed a big night from former Clipper Eric Bledsoe who had the Suns’ first triple-double since 2006 with 27 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds. He was a beast who went right at J.J. Redick all night and almost won Phoenix the game.
But the bounces went the Clippers’ way.
“I think all of us, when the ball left his hands, said there is no way that is going in,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “It was such a line drive and it hits any other part of the rim and there’s no chance.”
But this bounce went to the Clippers. And to Griffin. It was that kind of night for him.