Blake Griffin had a monstrous night for the Los Angeles Clippers as they rolled over the Phoenix Suns, putting up 37 points in 31 minutes. He shot 87.5 percent from the field, missed only two of his 16 field goal attempts and was instrumental in the Clippers extending their league-best eight-game winning streak.
His night didn't start in a particularly stunning fashion. He just handled the ball from three-quarters of the court in transition, drove straight to the rim and was awarded a layup after Miles Plumlee was called for goaltending.
Ho-hum, right? It's not like he's always shown off his vastly underrated ball-handling ability in transition. (He has. It's incredible sometimes).
His mid-range game was locked in, particularly from the left wing. His ability to drain jumpers as a pick-and-pop player is crucial for the Clippers and makes him a perfect partner for Chris Paul. Los Angeles needs him to space the floor out to 15 feet out and beyond, and Monday he was that guy. All he does is dunk, though.
Ok, fine, he does dunk. And he dunks well. Oh so well.
The highlights kept rollin' in. How about a turnaround fadeaway jumper over an outstretched arm? Yes, he had one of those.
Even his mishaps turned out all right. This dribble-drive-bobble still wound up in his hands and turned into two more points on the scoreboard. The defense does a good job of cutting him off before he can get into the restricted area, but he was able to get the shot off over the top.
All of the clips from above were from the first quarter alone. He went off for 22 points in the first 12 minutes, shooting eight-for-nine from the field. Griffin is having a career season, averaging 24.4 points per game, and his full offensive arsenal was on display against Phoenix
A Moment with Matt Barnes
Pardon this interruption, but it's time for a moment with Matt Barnes.
The offensive rebound falls into the hands of DeAndre Jordan, and he spots a cutting Griffin with the entire defense turned away from him. Giant lob dunk incoming?
No, not quite. Keep an eye on Matt Barnes here, who clearly anticipates Griffin dropping the hammer.
"HERE IT COMES ... no ... all right, okay, that'll do." [Insert golf clap for layup]. And that was a moment with Matt Barnes.
We now return to our regularly scheduled program of dunks, like this putback dunk all over Miles Plumlee. Nobody bothered boxing out Griffin, one of the NBA's most noted dunkers. The only player even in position to body up Griffin was Goran Dragic, who would've just joined Plumlee in tumbling backward and to the floor.
Griffin was seriously locked in from the "west wing." Everything from the elbow was dropping, and it wasn't due to a lack of defense. Channing Frye does a great job of keeping a hand up and making Griffin shoot over the top, but the shots were still falling.
And he stopped by the bank for Blake to cash in a couple of checks. Also from the left side of the court. He thumped in nearly identical shots from the left wing in the second quarter using glass and there was simply nothing the Suns could do to deter the shot. Textbook offense and consistent form from Griffin.
The outcome was a Clippers victory and Griffin putting up his fourth-highest scoring output of the season. Here's one last look at the carnage left behind in the form of a very-green and very-left-wing-heavy shot chart.
Los Angeles is still in position to land anywhere in the top four seeds in the Western Conference, and performances like this from Griffin have the Clippers holding onto hope for a No. 1 seed.