LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — Blake Griffin scored 24 points and hit an unbelievable acrobatic shot late in the fourth quarter to help the Los Angles Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors, 126-121 in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series at STAPLES on Saturday night.
Griffin, who went 10 of 18 from the field also dished out six assists, pulled down five rebounds and had three steals and three blocks in an allround performance on the night.
However, the talking point was the All-Star’s drove past his marker before throwing up his shot while twisting in the air as he got fouled in traffic with 56 seconds left in the game.
Chris Paul, who has been bothered by a hamstring problem had 22 points and 14 assists, Jamal Crawford added 22 points, while J.J. Redick finished with 20, DeAndre Jordan collected 15 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks and Matt Barnes scored 13 points in the victory for the third-seeded LA Clippers on the night.
The Clippers, who went through a tough week dealing with the matters concerning banned owner Donald Sterling, were emotional after the game.
And it was not just the players, as head coach Doc Rivers showed his side as well down the stretch.
“I just thought with all this stuff, this team just needed this win,” Rivers said. “This was a hard week.
“It feels like two months. I just needed to be able to smile and laugh and cheer, and be proud of something. And I was very proud of my players.”
Paul added: “I’m just happy we pulled it out. It’s going to sound crazy, but it was all about tonight.
“Everything else was in the past. We didn’t dwell on all that stuff, and not to diminish how serious everything has been in the past week or so.
“It was all about basketball tonight.”
Stephen Curry, who hit big shots time-after-time throughout the series and again on Saturday night led Golden State with 33 points and nine assists, while Draymond Green scored 24 points in the defeat.
Klay Thompson scored 15 points and seven assists, Andre Iguodala finished with 14 points and seven boards and David Lee added 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors.
“We fought so hard this whole series, this whole season,” Curry said. “It stings. It’s disappointing for sure.”