Blake Griffin likes it when Clippers are relaxed

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first_img“It wasn’t about the points or how many points we won by,” Griffin said, alluding to playoff franchise records set by the Clippers in both departments. “It was about the way we played. I just think we realized that if we play our game and do things that we work on, we’d be successful.“I think that was what helped us. We play well when we’re relaxed.”Credit to defense, benchCoach Doc Rivers agreed that his team was able to play a more free and easy Game 2 than two days earlier. He gave credit to the bench for that.“Blake was awesome last night, and DJ (DeAndre Jordan) and CP (Chris Paul),” said Rivers, whose team will play at Golden State on Thursday in Game 3. “And our bench was phenomenal. Our bench won that game. Really. The starters were great, too. Our bench came in the end of the first, stretched the lead, I thought it allowed everybody to just go relax and play.” The Clippers lost to Golden State by four points (109-105) in their Western Conference playoff series opener Saturday at Staples Center. Then they smacked the Warriors around Monday night and won by 40 (138-98) in a performance that could arguably rank as the Clippers’ best of the season.Whereas Blake Griffin was hardly a factor Saturday because of foul trouble and some other Clippers did not take care of business down the stretch, Monday was the complete opposite. Griffin scored 35 points, the team shot 56.6 percent from the field and 91.4 percent from the free-throw line, and the bench contributed mightily with 58 points.“You always hope to play a well-rounded game like that,” Griffin said Tuesday at practice. “But I just felt going into the game we were so much more relaxed and we were going to play better. Fortunately, we did, and it was the way we played.”Griffin explained. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Griffin put his spin on that.“They took the game to another level,” he said of the reserves. “The defensive intensity didn’t drop off, it went up. They made some shots, they were scrambling.”Speaking of the defense, Rivers doled out kudos to sixth-man Jamal Crawford, who has been struggling of late to find his shot.“My star of the game was Jamal defensively,” Rivers said. “Jamal defensively, I didn’t even know those two things would ever be said. But really, he made three defensive plays yesterday.“We got on him after Game 1 because of his defense. We said nothing about his offense. We just felt his offense dictated how he played defense, and I thought yesterday he came out and defended.” Doc isn’t sayingRivers and Warriors post Jermaine O’Neal, who played under Rivers at Boston, got into a heated conversation late in the second quarter Monday. Both received technicals. Rivers was asked what was said, but he balked.“Oh, I don’t know, it’s just a lot of talk,” he said. “I coached Jermaine and so I think it’s a little bit of that, in a good way. And to me it was more fun than anything else.”O’Neal later came back over to the Clippers bench, not necessarily to apologize.“No, he just said, ‘Hey, we’re good, right?’” Rivers said. “And I said, ‘We’re always good.’ But this is a competition, and that’s all I was saying. I don’t like getting into stuff like that. I think that’s for the players.“I don’t ever really think a coach should get involved. But I thought in that instance, it was needed.”last_img

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