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Blake Griffin leaves heads spinning as Clippers roll over Bobcats

The rookie forward bounces back from a rare off night with 24 points, 10 rebounds and one dazzling 360-degree move in easy 103-88 victory over Charlotte.

January 29, 2011|By Lisa Dillman
  • Clippers power forward Blake Griffin scores on a reverse layup against the Bobcats on Saturday night at Staples Center.
Clippers power forward Blake Griffin scores on a reverse layup against… (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles…)

Spinning class was in session, a breakaway segment from the usual dunking class.

Just another version of a double-double for Clippers rookie Blake Griffin. Who says he can't multitask?

Dunking, spinning and rebounding . . . and some rest in the second half. Griffin nearly did it all in the Clippers' 103-88 victory over Charlotte on Saturday night at Staples Center.

It was the Clippers' eighth straight victory at home, and their first win in three games, finishing a week that had been looking like it was coming undone with two losses on the road in Texas. The Clippers hit 11 three-pointers, one shy of their season high, Jan. 19 against Minnesota.

Griffin had another double-double — 24 points and 10 rebounds, a nice bounce-back game after a relatively quiet showing Wednesday in Houston, where he looked flat and said afterward that he was low on energy.

Then again, Griffin has set such a high standard that a game in which he had a double-double — 14 points, 11 rebounds against the Rockets — could be viewed as an off night.

"I would rather Blake have a game like this because I know his mind-set going into the game Saturday already," teammate Randy Foye said after the loss to the Rockets. "I know he's thinking already. I just hope the next person is ready."

The Bobcats may have been ready for Griffin, but ready doesn't mean up to the task. Griffin torched them inside for 17 points in the first quarter.

And then there was the usual victim. This time, it was Charlotte reserve Dominic McGuire, who looked like a pylon as Griffin went spinning past him with a brilliant 360 layup.

It may have been even more than a 360.

Guess the Clippers will need judges with scorecards along the sideline to determine whether that spin move was better than the one he unveiled in Detroit against the Pistons in December.

Griffin also connected uncommonly well with Foye, and later on with Baron Davis, who had a double-double with 12 points and 11 assists. Davis missed out on another assist when Griffin missed a dunk off of his lob pass in the fourth quarter.

That was after the game had been put out of reach.

It had started to get slightly worrisome for the Clippers when they started the fourth quarter by going cold, looking a lot like they did in the final period against the Rockets.

Here, they missed their first eight shots of the fourth and watched Charlotte go on 12-0 run that cut its 23-point deficit to 11.

Finally, Foye, who has been the starter at shooting guard in place of injured Eric Gordon, stepped up and hit a three-pointer with 7:14 remaining in the game, putting the lead back up to 14. Foye finished with a season-high 21 points, and Ryan Gomes scored 18.

Etc.

Gordon, who may be out for a month because of a sprained right wrist and bone chip fracture, says he has broken his other wrist in the past, so he had a fairly good idea that this latest injury was not as serious. He hurt the right wrist and suffered a bruised lower back when he took a hard fall Jan. 22 against Golden State.

He said it could be four to six months before the pain is completely gone.

"This is way more minor than anything broken. It's going to take a little bit of time," he said. "I know there was something wrong but I knew it wasn't broken. Just hanging in there so I knew it wasn't broken."

Incredibly, Gordon was able to hit the two subsequent free throws once he was able to pull himself off the floor. And he went back into game for about the last 21/2 minutes.

Said Gordon: "I just had adrenaline going. That was the only thing."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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