Griffin stampedes Warriors once again

By Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com


VIDEO: Blake Griffin runs wild in the Clippers’ close win in Game 3

OAKLAND – Bull 2, china shop 1.

Blake Griffin was back to destroying the Warriors and anything else in his way Thursday night, including the mood inside Oracle Arena and Golden State’s brief hold on home-court advantage in the series.

Maybe even some actual dishes, too.

Awesome, hopefully enlightening, an ascension to the next level of stardom — it’s been that kind of rampage and we’re only three games in. Before the first round opened in Los Angeles, Warrior Klay Thompson called Griffin a bull in a china shop, a flopper and generally out of control.

Blake Superior answered by tearing through only one thing: the opponent.

Griffin made commendable strides to his game all regular season, even if too few people outside the league itself noticed because they were fixated on the sparkly Lob City storyline. But his play in these playoffs is the kind of performance that should make his improvements impossible to overlook. The general public is finally seeing Griffin’s offensive arsenal expand miles at a time.

As bad as Game 1 was with the six fouls in 19 minutes, Griffin still had 16 points in that time and made six of 13 attempts.

In Game 2, he had a playoff career-best 35 points on 13-of-17 shooting in 30 minutes.

Thursday night, Griffin had 15 points in 20 first-half minutes and finished with 32 points (on 15-for-25 shooting) and eight rebounds in 44 minutes as the Clippers took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with a 98-96 victory.

“He’s just been great,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s making jump shots. The bank shot that he’s added to his game facing the basket has just taken him to a different level because it’s very difficult now to guard him. If you get up on him, he goes around you. If you back off of him, he can use the glass. I keep going back to his work. Tomorrow, we won’t do much, but he’ll be in the gym. I can guarantee you that. It’s just who he is. He’s very hungry.”

The Warriors have reason to be concerned with the Griffin matchup every direction they turn. What’s most concerning is that they are defending him according to the game plan … and it doesn’t matter. Griffin is crashing through them anyway.

Like a bull in a china shop.

“He’s playing at a high level right now,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. “He’s making plays, he’s making shots. We forced him to be a jump shooter, he’s making jump shots. On the block, he’s aggressive. He’s having an outstanding series, capping off an outstanding year. We’re giving him different looks. He’s making tough shots.”

23 Comments

  1. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    If CP3 is dealing with too many injuries/ailments, it’s over. The Warriors will probably win the series in 7 games.

  2. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Let’s not jump to conclusions, LA fans. This will be a long series, probably 7 games, I predict.

    BTW, Chris Paul fouled Curry at the end of that Game 3. He clearly undercut Curry on his jumpshot but got away with it, unscathed.

    If the refs rightfully called a foul there, Curry makes 2 free throws forcing OT (where it seems anything can happen in this 2014 playoff saga).

    Irregardless, Curry still has yet to have a good game in these playoffs. Let’s see what happens when Curry finally plays well and scores 25+ points. Let’s see if CP3 can stay healthy. Clippers won’t win this series without a healthy Chris Paul.

    I’m sticking with my prediction (being a prognosticating GOD) that the Warriors will defeat the Clippers in this first-round matchup.

  3. Don says:

    I’m crying laughing at Klay Thompson’s comments. While somewhat true, Klay needs to reply on the court.

  4. jabopples says:

    Its funny how bad the media bias is in this series. Everyone saying that BG and DJ are destroying the warriors bigs may be true but in that game the warriors had more rebounds and more points in the paint. They just couldn’t bury shots they usually do.

  5. B.Trilla says:

    Clippers are making the “Splash Brothers” look like the “Trash Brothers”, Noone mentions it but the backcourt duo of Paul and Collison is a defensive masterpiece, they are both just as aggressive on defense as well as offense. Then with Barnes and dudley flyin on the wings knockin away loose balls, the underappreciated Granger & Turk making noise, its over. Not even gonna bring up Crawford… overkill.
    You are silly if you think Zach Randolph will have any more success than Lee or O’neal guarding Blake Griffin, He is far less atheletic and mobile, I couldnt imagine Memphis playing him on Blake “this year”. That Bully basketball he got away with last year definitely wont work this year, this is a whole new Blake, and we can probably even thank Zach for that.

  6. It says:

    I’m kinda of glad klay brickson stoked the fire. Had game 1 not featured the NBA version of powder puff officiating the Clips would be on the verge of a sweep. BLake is dominating them, Dremond Green is not going to stop him, and his hard fouls show who the real bull in the china shop is! Adios golden state

  7. Robb says:

    Just wondering if anyone knows why Bogut wasn’t on the bench supporting the team last night?

  8. Dhel says:

    That splash is only a ripple now! Lol!

  9. eliza says:

    he obviously deserves mvp if kd gets elimenated in the first round.

  10. S9 says:

    As much as i love to see the warriors team playing,i just cant see them overun the clippers, they are too strong for GSW

  11. Caldron Pool says:

    Klay Thompson was ignorant to be talking trash before the series started. He needs to mature quite a bit, he isn’t handling himself like a professional at all. He’s like a big child, arrogantly insulting a player who’s better than him, becoming completely over celebratory at the smallest hint of success, and then exploding in anger and frustration when they lose or he fails.

    There is a fine line between enthusiasm / the desire to win / love of the game and just plain unprofessional behavior. Draymond Green is suffering from a serious case of unprofessional behavior. This isn’t a pickup game in the projects, act like a professional, not a thug.

    At this point, the Warriors have talked so much trash that they can’t live without backing it up and beating the Clippers. The roster, besides Iggy and Curry, are out of control. Jackson seems to be doing a great job, just too many young players without the mental toughness to compete. The talent is there, the mental game is not.

  12. vinsanefan says:

    This is what happens when a bull gets pssed off. Klay Thompson should know better than to start running his mouth. That being said, the Clippers aren’t out of the woods yet. The Warriors were one made three pointer away from winning that game last night, and the Clippers have to stay focused and keep playing at a high level.

    • Accept the FACT that all the clippers need 2 do is win 1 more in OAKLAND AND THIS SERIES IS OVER! MAYBE NEXT YEAR for GOLDEN STATE BUT not this YEAR. ONCE AGAIN, BLAKE is playing like BLAKE (BULLISH)32PTS, STIFLIN D, CONTROLLING THE BOARDS, TIMELY 3 PT SHOOTING, NO TURNOVERS, and BYE-BYE GOLDEN STATE!

  13. Jay says:

    #1 LBJ #2 KD #3 BG and #2 right now has his team in fade mode… HERE COMES BLAKE SUPERIOR!

  14. Game Time says:

    Where are all those Blake Griffin haters who said David Lee was a much better PF? Feeling pretty stupid now huh? Warriors are a overrated team, but I will give credit to Curry because he really is the most dangerous 3 shooter right now.

    • CCV says:

      GS is missing its center, the top two 3 shooters in the league were relatively cold the first 3 games, yet they are still getting more points in the paint and have the series tied at 2 a piece, nearly taking the 3rd game too. Overrated?

  15. standard says:

    Lamarcus Aldridge what?

  16. ham and cheese says:

    @ Bob: i still hope that they meet this play-offs. it’s a really good match-up for me.

  17. ciugaz says:

    Griffin e Jordan are litterally destroying the opposite frontcourt and it’s hard to see a way out for the Warriors…

  18. Bob says:

    Ham and cheese: OKC and LAC cannot meet in western conference finals. They are the 2 and 3 seeds, so they can only meet in semi-finals.

  19. C’mon man. We all knew that this was going to happen. Not a surprise at all. 1 more win for the Clips & the 5th game will be just a formality. Hope we get Clips – OKC in the next round.

  20. ham and cheese says:

    oh yeah! i hope LAC will face OKC in the western conference finals. but first, OKC should beat memphis! it’s disappointing to see OKC beaten by memphis two play-offs in a row!

  21. E-SY says:

    The best PF of the league makes that whining mediocre guard of the Warriors eat his words! Next thing you know he splashes those brothers out of the play-offs… And I’m loving it!