|Date of game: 12/8/2014
Recap: LA Clippers vs. Phoenix
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Clippers and Suns played an instant classic Monday that ended in a dramatic and equally unlikely Blake Griffin 3- pointer at the overtime buzzer.
Griffin finished with a season-high 45 points and none bigger than the three he willed in on the game's final possession, as he stepped back behind the arc and attempted just his 10th 3-pointer of the season.
The ball looked short on Griffin's release but somehow hit the front of the rim, spun high off the backboard and hit the bottom of the net to give the Clippers a stunning 121-120 victory.
"I stepped back thinking three, but also to get open," said Griffin. "I thought it was short and then I saw it bounce and it went in. I then took off running."
It was the eighth straight win for LA, which received 20 points and 10 assists from Chris Paul and survived a monster night from Eric Bledsoe.
"It was one of those games we figured out a way to win. We needed all 45 points from Blake tonight," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. "It was a big shot by a big player. We hung in there just enough to get the win."
Bledsoe, who spent the first three seasons of his career with the Clippers and was held without a field goal against them last month, totaled 27 points, a career-high 16 assists and 11 rebounds in a losing effort.
"We thought we were going to win it," Phoenix head coach Jeff Hornacek said. "It was so close yet so far away. I thought no way was Blake going to make it."
In addition to his first career triple-double, Bledsoe also swatted Paul's would-be game-winner at the end of regulation into the second row.
Phoenix was on the verge of its third win in four games after Markieff Morris hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Suns a 120-116 lead in the final minute of OT.
A jump ball won by Matt Barnes resulted in a J.J. Redick layup at the other end, and a shot clock violation gave the Clippers the ball back with 5.1 seconds on the clock.
The Suns used their foul to give with 2.6 ticks left, and Griffin faked a handoff to Paul off a sideline inbounds and fired the game-winner with P.J. Tucker in his face.
Phoenix trailed by a dozen late in the third quarter but chipped away at the deficit and went back ahead using a 9-0 run in the early stages of the fourth.
Jamal Crawford, for the first time in his 15-year career, was ejected during the surge when he was whistled for a foul going after a loose ball and got in referee Mark Lindsay's face.
Bledsoe made the two technical free throws and Marcus Morris followed with a 3-pointer to give the Suns a 96-94 advantage with under nine minutes to go.
Griffin fueled LA's own 9-0 run a little later, but a Markieff Morris jumper and Gerald Green free throw in the final minute of regulation evened things at 112-112.
There were 11 lead changes and 10 ties in a seesaw first half that ended with Jared Cunningham beating the buzzer with a 3-pointer while being fouled.
The four-point play put the Clippers head, 60-57, at the break, and Griffin and Paul combined for 21 points in the third to extend the lead.
Griffin scored the first four points of an 8-1 run that gave LA an 83-71 cushion late in the third, and it was 89-80 in favor of the hosts heading to the fourth.Game Notes
Griffin shot 15-of-17 from the foul line ... Markieff Morris scored 21 points,
while Goran Dragic added 17 points and eight assists for the Suns, who made 16
3-pointers ... The Clippers earned a 120-107 home win over the Suns on Nov. 15
... LA scored 31 points off 17 turnovers.