Griffin shines in Clippers' scrimmage

October, 3, 2012
10/03/12
9:58
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- The tone of the Los Angeles Clippers' scrimmage at the Galen Center was set before it even began when Blake Griffin grabbed the ball from the other end of court and heaved a full-court shot that went in to even his surprise.

Griffin has been working on his shot during the offseason with new shooting coach Bob Thate but that is one shot he wasn't about to credit to four months worth of practice.

"I don't know where that came from," Griffin said. "I try that every day and miss."

When the open scrimmage started, Griffin was once again the center of attention. He scored a game-high 11 points, grabbed three rebounds and added one assist. He posterized Ronny Turiaf and Trent Plaisted on a couple of dunks but missed a free-throw at the end of the scrimmage, which ended in a 31-31 tie.

"I thought we looked good," Griffin said. "It's always nice to get out there in more of a game environment and not just practice behind closed doors. I thought our defense was pretty good; we were a little sloppy on offense but for the most part our defense has been great and that's been the best part about camp."

Other highlights of the scrimmage included Jamal Crawford, who finished with seven points, three rebounds and one assist, hitting Matt Barnes on a wrap-around pass for a dunk on a fast break, Travis Leslie, who finished with nine points, two assists and one rebound, blocking Marqus Blakely's dunk attempt, and Lamar Odom, who finished with five points, three rebounds and two assists, taking a leadership role on the second unit and huddling them up during stoppages.

As expected, Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Try Thompkins, who have been recovering from injuries during training camp, were held out of the scrimmage. Grant Hill, who turns 40 on Friday, did not play in the scrimmage but participated in the practice before the scrimmage and is expected to practice on Thursday with the team.

Griffin's highlight reel dunks during Wednesday's scrimmage were the first public displays of how far Griffin has come from arthroscopic surgery last month to repair the medial meniscus tear of his left knee he suffered during Team USA's training camp in Las Vegas on July 11, which forced him to miss the Olympics.

"The knee thing isn't really an issue anymore," Griffin said. "It's just the fatigue of camp and having two-a-days but I'm passed the knee. I got past it a couple of weeks after surgery. It wasn't in my mind."

Arash Markazi

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Blake Griffin
PTS AST STL MIN
22.5 5.1 0.9 35.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsD. Jordan 14.0
AssistsC. Paul 9.9
StealsC. Paul 1.8
BlocksD. Jordan 2.3