Before Thursday's game in Phoenix, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said All-Star forward Blake Griffin had to dominate his position on a nightly basis. Against the Suns, though, he didn't and the offense struggled in a 93-88 loss. The Clippers have lost three games in a row, the team's second-longest losing streak this season. In the Clippers' two previous losses to Golden State and Oklahoma City, Griffin starred, flirting with triple-doubles in both and getting the job done on the defensive end. But Thursday, Griffin just wasn't as productive, scoring only 12 points on nine shots. Griffin was also 2 of 8 at the free-throw line. Some of the blame could be aimed at Griffin's left ankle, which he turned in the first quarter after stepping on Goran Dragic's foot. With Griffin unable to get easy points at the rim or free-throw line, the Clippers' offense unsurprisingly struggled. Lamar Odom had issues finishing at the rim, going 2 for 11. Grant Hill's mid-range jumper carried plenty of rust as he went 1 for 8. Despite the calamities on offense, the Clippers trailed by just one with 26.9 seconds left after Jamal Crawford drained a 3-pointer in transition. The Clippers elected to foul, sending Marcin Gortat to the line, where the Suns' center hit a pair to put Phoenix back up three. The Clippers elected to try and get a quick two, and Crawford drove to the basket, drew a foul and just missed converting on the shot. But Crawford, an 88.1 percent free-throw shooter, split on the two free throws, and Phoenix was able to close the game out at the foul line. Crawford finished with 19 points, leading five Clippers in double figures. As a team, the Clippers shot just 40.2 percent from the field. Dragic led Phoenix with 24.
Griffin struggles, as do Clippers in losing third in a row
Orange County Register | Jan 25