Against the Rockets in Game 1 of the second round, however, with Paul unable to go due to a hamstring injury, the spotlight was there for Griffin, and he had no trouble taking center stage.
Griffin helped to finish off the Spurs by posting a triple-double line of 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. He was even better in Houston, finishing with 26 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists to put the Clippers up 1-o in the best-of-seven series. And the back-to-back triple-doubles put him in some historically-great company.
From ESPN Stats & Information:
He’s the first player with back-to-back triple-doubles in a postseason game since Jason Kidd accomplished the feat in 2002.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Griffin is the third non-guard in NBA history with back-to-back postseason triple-doubles. The other two are NBA legends Wilt Chamberlain (who did it twice) and John Havlicek.
Elias also notes that Griffin is the fourth player in NBA history with back-to-back 20-point triple-doubles in the postseason, joining Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson and Baron Davis.
It’s worth remembering, as NBA.com’s John Scuhmann pointed out, that the Clippers suffered the biggest loss in terms of on-off net rating when Chris Paul missed time during the regular season. When you look at the lack of a bench that L.A. has struggled to deal with all year long, that makes perfect sense — and also makes you realize just how special Griffin has been in his last two performances, but especially during a road win in Houston when his team needed him the most.