Griffin hitting new heights for Clippers as his game evolves

Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:10pm EST
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By Jahmal Corner

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Blake Griffin is making the leap to heights even he has never reached.

The Los Angeles Clippers forward is best known for the gravity defying dunks that have made him a regular on highlight reels, but Blake is evolving as a player and taken his game up a notch to emerge as one of the most lethal weapons in the NBA.

As the Clippers have navigated through key injuries and a transition to first-year coach Doc Rivers, it is their 24-year-old power forward who has led the way with a game that continues to blossom.

"Blake has been sensational. He's his own breed, there's nothing really like him," Clippers coach Rivers told reporters. "He just does so many things. We've found other things that he can do that we didn't know."

Griffin's capabilities were on full display on Wednesday when the Clippers (37-18) outgunned the Portland Trail Blazers (36-17) 122-117 in a Western Conference shootout.

Matched up against fellow All Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Griffin won the battle and the contest with a 36-point, 10-rebound effort.

The performance featured the dunks we have come to expect from Griffin, the ones that will send fans searching them on YouTube clips, but it was a night rooted more in substance than style.

The 6-foot-10 Griffin flashed his ball-handling and passing, an ever improving mid-range jump shot and tough defense in the paint.   Continued...

Los Angeles Clippers forwards Blake Griffin (32) and Matt Barnes (22) exchange high fives in the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Trail Blazers 122-117. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports