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Blake Griffin does his part to help Clippers create change

The rookie power forward saw a need for a turnaround after the Clippers lost to the Indiana Pacers by 27 points on Nov. 18. Griffin has 27 consecutive double-doubles since that game.

January 17, 2011|By Lisa Dillman

Blake Griffin had said something had to change after the Clippers lost to the Indiana Pacers by 27 points on Nov. 18 and had some of his own ideas about getting it done.

But, team-wise, it didn't really kick in until a meeting about a month later in Detroit. Griffin started doing his part earlier, beginning his streak of double-doubles after the loss at Indiana.

"That was the point I felt like a team meeting was in order," Griffin said of the loss to the Pacers. "Unfortunately the way it worked out, we didn't get to that. And later on the road, we did. That's the point where it changed [in Detroit].

"Ryan Gomes said, 'Our season starts now. We can't do anything about the past.' Since then, we've won 10 games. I wish we could go back to the beginning against Portland and say that. I'm really proud of the way we've turned it around."

Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro had to laugh about Griffin's postgame reaction after the rookie's 47-point performance against the Pacers on Monday.

"His first shot didn't hit much of the rim or net or anything," Del Negro said. "It's funny. After the game, I told him good job and everything and he said, 'Yeah, except for that first shot.' "

Said Griffin: "I come out and airball the first one. It was like, 'Here we go again.' "

Griffin had struggled with his shot against the Lakers on Sunday until the fourth quarter. Against the Pacers, he was the model of consistency, scoring 13 in the first quarter, 15 in the second, eight in the third and 11 in the fourth.

He has 27 consecutive double-double games and 33 overall. Teammate Eric Gordon predicted more of the same.

"He's just going to do that every game," Gordon said. "I can see him having a double-double every game for the rest of the year. People aren't going to be shocked. He's going to be doing that for the rest of the year.

"Any time you only miss five shots, the other team has to do something. You can't double him or slow him down when he's making jump shots. You just can't do it when you see a big making jump shots."

Griffin seemed to take pride that it was largely a dunk-free afternoon, saying: "It's cool because all I hear is: 'He can dunk. He can dunk. He can jump high.' But people questioned the other skills. As a basketball player, you take that personally."

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