LOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds and a couple of rim-jarring dunks during the Celtics’ 99-92 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. While the numbers appear impressive, Griffin did not make his usual impact on the game.
He was 7-for-14 from the field with just two offensive rebounds and four fouls. Kevin Garnett used his veteran tricks against the 22-year-old Griffin, refusing to allow the Slam Dunk champ to seize his desire position on the post.
“It was a tough matchup,” Griffin said. “He’s a good defensive player, but I think for me it’s just upon me to take this and learn from it. A player like him has his tricks. Being a rookie, you’re not going to get any calls like that. So over time, that’s something that will go away.”
The physical matchup is one issue, but Garnett is a notorious trash talker, especially against younger players. Griffin said Garnett actually didn’t say much Saturday. Or at least not as much as he had been prepared for.
“You know I didn’t think he did as much as I heard he would do,” Griffin said. “But he was pretty quiet. He was pretty calm. He was just talking about how many minutes I’ve been playing. I can’t make out what he said when he’s got the Kung Fu grip on you or something. We didn’t talk a whole lot.”