Top Pick Griffin Doesn't Disappoint In Summer League Debut

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Los Angeles Clippers center Blake Griffin didn't wait long Monday night to show why he was the top pick in last month's NBA draft.

Griffin scored seven points in the opening 75 seconds of the Clippers' first NBA Summer League game and finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds in a 93-82 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Right now, just like everyone else, I'm trying to show my coaches and teammates what I can do," Griffin said. "It was just another game. I was relaxed. I hadn't played a game in months, so it was nice to get back out there."

With NBA commissioner David Stern sitting courtside at the Thomas & Mack Center, the 6-foot-10 Griffin went 6 of 6 from the field in the first half and didn't miss a shot until the third quarter. He finished 11 of 15 from the field and played 29 minutes.

"That was really cool," Griffin said of Stern being in attendance. "It shows he cares about how I play and wants to pay attention to me."

Griffin, who led the NCAA last season with 30 double-doubles for Oklahoma, couldn't have asked for a better start to his professional career.

He opened with a layup off a pick-and-roll on the Clippers' first possession, banked in a 12-foot jumper on the second and buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key on the third. The outburst gave the Clippers a 7-2 lead and they never trailed.

"That is something I have been working on, something I didn't get to do much of in college," Griffin said of his 3-pointer.

Griffin, who averaged 22.7 points and 14.4 points for Oklahoma as a sophomore last season, had seven points in the third quarter as the Clippers extended their 11-point halftime lead to 71-52.

"I'm not surprised him made all those shots," said Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy, who did not coach the summer team but was a very interest observer at the game. "I watch him go 8 of 10 every day from five spots on the court.

"He handled the pressure tonight very well, but that was not a worry The kid comes to play every day."

Griffin did show some minor flaws. He missed his first three free throws and finished 4 of 8 from the line. He had five turnovers.

With Griffin resting for the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, the Lakers cut their deficit to 12 points.

Griffin re-entered the game and tipped in a missed shot on the Clippers' first possession to spark an 8-2 run that got the lead to 18 points.

Eric Gordon finished with 21 points for the Clippers and DeAndre Jordan added 16.

Adam Morrison led the Lakers with 20 points.


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