Clippers stop Bucks’ streak with 117-101 victory
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jamal Crawford didn’t make it to the All-Star game. If he had, the Clippers’ sixth man had something planned similar to the move he pulled off in setting up Blake Griffin for one of the season’s most buzz-worthy dunks.
Crawford and Griffin combined for their memorable moment in the fourth quarter of a 117-101 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, the Clippers’ 10th victory in 13 games.
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Griffin’s windmill dunk off Crawford’s alley-oop pass came after the guard went streaking to the basket on a fast break, threw the ball up, caught it, passed it between his legs, and then threw it over his shoulder to Griffin.
“I got the best jumper in the world, so might as well get creative,” said Crawford, who led the Clippers with 25 points despite tweaking his left ankle early in the game. “Blake just took it to a whole other level. We can push that for an ESPY (award).”
As the trailer, Griffin wasn’t sure what Crawford had in mind, but figured he would throw it off the glass for Griffin to finish.
“He didn’t even look back,” Griffin said. “He threw it a little low and it was close to the rim. It was a spur of the moment thing. Sometimes he does some things that are unbelievable. Besides all the flash, he’s been efficient for us.”
Griffin finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his third career triple-double. Matt Barnes added 20 points, while Chris Paul had 14 points and nine assists to help the Pacific Division leaders improve to 24-7 at home.
“It’s exciting, but at the same time, without my teammates hitting these shots it doesn’t happen,” Griffin said.
Monta Ellis scored 18 of his 22 points in the first half and Ersan Ilyasova added 20 points for the Bucks, whose four-game winning streak ended as they fell to 1-12 in Los Angeles against the Clippers since the 2000-01 season. Brandon Jennings hit five 3-pointers for 18 points and 12 assists.
“They made shots,” Ellis said. “We couldn’t make shots, they got rebounds, got out and ran and executed their offense.”
The Clippers opened the fourth quarter with a seven-point lead and quickly extended it to 108-91. Barnes sandwiched 3s around consecutive baskets by Eric Bledsoe, who also hit a 3.
Griffin and Crawford’s play got the sellout crowd on its feet roaring heading into a timeout.
“They would rather see Blake dunk than me any time of the day so I just have to figure out the best way to get it to him,” Crawford said.
Griffin’s assists were a career high and helped him record his first triple-double since he had two late in the 2010-11 season. He secured the triple-double by grabbing a miss by J.J. Redick with about six minutes left in the game, and checked out to a standing ovation with 3:55 remaining.
“He’s doing everything. He’s finding people, he’s making plays,” Crawford said of Griffin. “He demands a lot of attention down there, so he’s getting double-teamed and kicking out to our shooters. He’s making the right play all of the time.”
Barnes made six 3s in helping the Clippers go 12 of 29 from long-range and complete a season sweep of the Bucks.
“We’ve been a team that’s been able to hang around with other teams and then suddenly find something in the fourth quarter, but not tonight,” Bucks coach Jim Boylan said.
The Clippers led by 15 points in the second quarter, thanks to a 16-2 run that included two 3s by Barnes and one by Chauncey Billups. Both teams shot better than 50 percent in the half, and the Clippers finished at 54 percent for the game.
NOTES: Bucks C Larry Sanders didn’t record a block, ending a streak of 40 consecutive games in which he had at least one, the longest active run in the NBA. … Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers sat courtside next to Clippers owner Donald Sterling. … The Bucks’ streak began with wins at Dallas and Houston, and their previous two came in overtime.