The star power forward assisted on JJ Redick’s game-tying 3-pointer with 19.6 remaining in regulation time and flipped the ball to reserve Jamal Crawford ahead of his go-ahead 3-pointer with 12.4 seconds remaining in over-time among seven assists as the visiting Clippers improved to 15-10.
“People look at the power, the speed and the dunks. They miss the best part of his game and that’s his passing,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of Griffin.
Players talked Rivers out of his plans to set up the plays that led to the key 3-pointers.
“It was really one of those games where you listen to them,” Rivers said.
“They were so into the game, they had a great feel. Sometimes as a coach you say, ‘No, I’ll go with my stuff.’ Sometimes, you go with theirs.”
Detroit couldn’t convert three put-back attempts after a missed free throw in the final seconds.
Reggie Jackson led Detroit with 34 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Redick had 24 points while Chris Paul had 13 points and 12 assists for the Clippers.
Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker each added 18 points as the San Antonio Spurs ripped Utah 118-81, improving to 13-0 at home this season, their best home-court start since 2007.
The Spurs, with the NBA’s second-best record at 21-5 behind only 24-1 Golden State, led the Jazz by as many as 46 points on the way to a third consecutive blowout romp.
– Dragic loses tooth, gains respect –
In Atlanta, Chris Bosh had 24 points and 10 rebounds to power the Miami Heat over the host Hawks 100-88.
The Heat had lost seven games in a row to the Hawks and last won in Atlanta in 2013.
Miami guard Goran Dragic had a tooth knocked out by an accidental elbow from Atlanta forward Al Horford.
The Slovenian returned from the locker room to finish with 12 points, eight points and seven rebounds.
“I think we all learned a little something about him tonight,” Heat forward Dwyane Wade said of Dragic. “Most people want to go to the locker room. But he didn’t want to go and wanted to stay in the game. He’s just a tough guy. We knew he was tough, but didn’t know he was ‘get your teeth knocked out, bleeding and come right back in’ tough.”
At Indianapolis, the Toronto Raptors took a 26-5 lead and the Indiana Pacers answered by scoring the next 22 points to grab the lead on their way to a 106-90 victory.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel lectured his team during a timeout to spark the reversal of fortune.
“I’m not sure I can actually repeat what I said, but essentially, it was about getting our defense right, something we have talked about for the past five games,” Vogel said.
The Pacers surged to a 44-30 lead and never trailed again, beating the Raptors for the first time in the past six meetings.
– Gasol, Conley spark Memphis –
Marc Gasol had 24 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, while Mike Conley added 18 points and 11 assists as host Memphis ripped Washington 112-95 while Jimmy Butler scored 23 points to lead the Chicago Bulls over visiting Philadelphia 115-96.
Deron Williams scored 18 points and the Dallas Mavericks snapped a three-game home losing streak by downing Phoenix 104-94.
Will Barton scored 23 points and Gary Harris added a career-high 21 points as the Denver Nuggets defeated Houston 114-108. – Agence France-Presse