|Clippers forward Blake Griffin slips past James Posey for 2 of his career-high 47 points. He was 19 of 24 from the field. (Alex Gallardo/Associated Press)|
Griffin still climbing
Clippers rookie scores 47 in win
Those critics who label Blake Griffin’s offense one-dimensional? The Los Angeles Clippers rookie answered them with the NBA’s highest-scoring game this season.
Hitting a mix of bank shots, hooks, and turnaround jumpers, Griffin had a career-high 47 points and 14 rebounds for his 27th consecutive double-double, helping the Clippers rally to beat the Indiana Pacers, 114-107, yesterday in Los Angeles.
“It’s cool because all I hear is, ‘He can dunk and jumps high,’ ’’ Griffin said. “People question the other skills and as a basketball player, you take that personally.’’
It was Griffin’s 33d double-double of his rookie season, and his 19 field goals made — in 24 attempts — were a career best. His points topped the previous league high of 46 by Golden State’s Monta Ellis.
“Oh my goodness, he caught a feeling today,’’ Baron Davis said of Griffin. “He was unstoppable. We just kept feeding him and he kept producing. That keeps the defense off-balance.’’
Danny Granger scored 32 points, making 10 of 11 free throws, and former UCLA star Darren Collison added 30 points and eight assists for the Pacers, who practically dared Griffin to shoot by rarely double-teaming him.
“We wanted to keep him from getting to the paint and just make him take tough jumpers. But he was making a lot of jump shots, so it was hard to defend him,’’ Granger said.
Eric Gordon added 23 points and Davis had 14 points and 12 assists for the Clippers.
Lakers 101, Thunder 94 — Pau Gasol scored 21 points, Kobe Bryant added 21 and seven assists, though he missed three last-minute free throws, and host Los Angeles held on for its eighth victory in nine games.
Suns 129, Knicks 121 — Vince Carter scored 29 points as Phoenix matched its season high in points and overcame Amare Stoudemire’s season-high 41 points in handing the Knicks their third straight loss.
“I know that thing about defense wins championships, but I still haven’t seen a team yet win a game 0-0,’’ coach Alvin Gentry said.
76ers 96, Bobcats 92 — Andre Iguodala hit the go-ahead jumper with 37.6 seconds left in overtime and Thaddeus Young followed with a game-saving steal as host Philadelphia recovered to win after blowing a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Boris Diaw led the Bobcats with 25 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds.
Bulls 96, Grizzlies 84 — Derrick Rose returned to Memphis with his first career triple-double and Luol Deng scored 28 points to lead Chicago. Rose, coming back to the city where he starred at the University of Memphis, had 22 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds.
Trail Blazers 113, Timberwolves 102 — LaMarcus Aldridge scored a career-high 37 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as host Portland beat Minnesota for the 15th consecutive time.
Wizards 108, Jazz 101 — Rookie John Wall had 19 points and a career-high 15 assists to lead Washington to its fourth straight home victory and first two-game winning streak of the season.
Hornets 85, Raptors 81 — David West’s clutch shooting and defense in the final minutes helped host New Orleans to its fifth straight victory. West, who had 23 points and 10 rebounds, hit a jumper with 31.7 seconds left put New Orleans ahead, 83-81. He then preserved the lead with a block on Amir Johnson in the paint, got the rebound, was fouled and hit two free throws for the final margin.
Pistons 103, Mavericks 89 — Rodney Stuckey scored 20 points as host Detroit sent Dallas to its sixth consecutive loss. Dirk Nowitzki scored 32 points for the Mavericks in his second game back from a sprained right knee.
Rockets 93, Bucks 84 — Kevin Martin scored 36 points and Houston recovered from its lowest first-half point total of the season (39 points) to hand Milwaukee its 11th straight loss in Houston.
Hawks 100, Kings 98 — Joe Johnson scored a season-high 36 points, including two free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining, as host Atlanta recovered to win after trailing for most of the game. Al Horford added 23 points, 9 rebounds, and a career-high 7 blocks for the Hawks.
Warriors 109, Nets 100 — Monta Ellis had 26 points and nine assists to help host Golden State beat New Jersey for the sixth straight time. The Nets have lost six straight and 11 of 12 games.