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Jamal Crawford helps Blake Griffin finish in win over Bucks, 117-101

Clippers All-Star really enjoys 11 assists in his third triple-double and gets a lot of help from his friends.

March 06, 2013|By Broderick Turner

It was more than Blake Griffin's third career triple-double that helped the Clippers roll by the Milwaukee Bucks, 117-101, Wednesday night at Staples Center.

To be sure, Griffin's 23 points, 11 rebounds and career-high 11 assists went a very long way in pushing the Clippers to their ninth win in 11 games.

"It's exciting and I'm excited," Griffin said. "But at the same time, without my teammates making those shots, it doesn't happen."

And his teammates did make shots, to the tune of 54% from the field.

Griffin's work was supplemented by the work of Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes, two of the Clippers' top reserves.

Crawford had a game-high 25 points on 11-for-16 shooting, three for six from three-point range. Crawford tweaked his left ankle in the first quarter, but still played 26 minutes and combined with Griffin to make the play of the night.

Barnes had 20 points on seven-for-12 shooting, six for 11 on three-pointers.

It was more than enough to offset Monta Ellis' 22 points and Brandon Jennings's 18 points and 12 assists for the Bucks.

"When we're hitting shots, it's hard for them to double-team Blake," Barnes said. "They can't double team Chris [Paul], Blake and Jamal. So if other guys are making plays, other guys are going to get open shots. We just have to make them."

Griffin's first triple-double came on March 23, 2011, against Washington, when he had 33 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists. The other was on April 13, 2011 against Memphis, when he had 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

"Passing the ball matters to me," Griffin said. "Rebounding and scoring are the staples and that's kind of part of my game. But being able to pass and get guys open and create offense that way is important."

The Clippers were cruising late in the game, when Crawford had a breakaway basket.

That's when he got fancy and unselfish at the same time.

Crawford somehow went between legs with the ball, then threw it over his shoulder for a lob pass that the trailing Griffin dunked to give the Clippers a 108-91 lead.

"I didn't know what I was going to do," Crawford said. "But I started getting my steps together and go for it. You only live once, so go for it."

Griffin looked over at Crawford and smiled. The crowd cheered at yet another highlight play by the Clippers.

"I honestly had no idea what he was going to do," Griffin said. "I thought he was going to throw it off the backboard. Normally in a situation like that, you're looking at each other: 'What are you going to do? What are you going to do?'

"But he didn't even look back. I was kind of stuck out there and then I saw he threw it between his legs. He's done that in practice so I just tried to finish."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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