LA Clippers 108, Phoenix 103: All Hail Blake Griffin! The rookie scored 28 points, took 12 rebounds, and threw down this incredible alley-oop dunk before fouling out. The Paper Clips hung on to improve to 9-22, and the January schedule is home-friendly (10 of 14 games at Staples). Could they make a run at the playoffs and make us look brilliant? (It’d make up for the horrendous Wizards pick.) Griffin, obviously, will be the key. We’re already at the stage where fans are booing Clippers who don’t lob the ball to the dunking machine. Griffin even got into a dust-up with mild-mannered veteran Grant Hill (video after the jump).
Minnesota 98, Cleveland 97: Michael Beasley’s game-winner snapped the Wolves’ losing streak at seven. They’re now 7-22; the Cavs, losers of 13 of 14, are 8-22. Kevin Love put together another ho-hom 18-rebound effort, then put together a highlight reel of the first two months of the season and sent it FedEx to Spain in hopes of convincing Ricky Rubio that the Wolves are just a point-guard away from being .500.
Chicago 95, Detroit 92, OT: Charlie Villanueva sent the game to OT with a tip-in with less than a second left, but he missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer in extra time and the Bulls improved to 19-10 and stayed within striking distance of the Celtics and Heat in the East. Expect Orlando to start charging hard in the coming weeks (last two wins are against San Antonio and Boston). Not sure if the Bulls will be able to hold them off without Noah.
Memphis 104, Indiana 90: The Grizzlies have a Big 4 – Gay, Gasol, Randolph and Mayo – that scored 82 of their points, and the Pacers only have Danny Granger (29 points). Wonder how many GMs are clamoring for Memphis 2009 1st round pick Hasheem Thabeet? The Grizz said they wouldn’t trade him (!?!), but now, they’ll consider it. Chris Wallace’s next job should be with the Pittsburgh Pirates – assuming they aren’t contracted.
San Antonio 94, Washington 80: The good news – John Wall returned! After a two-week absence he played 19 minutes. And that’s about it. Washington fell to 0-14 on the road. Figured you’d care more about another Griffin dunk than anything from Spurs-Wizards.