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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Clippers 117, Bucks 101

By Arash Markazi



LOS ANGELES -- The game had already been decided, with the Los Angeles Clippers holding a 106-91 lead on the Milwaukee Bucks with 6:21 left in the game.

As Brandon Jennings advanced up court, he lost the ball to Eric Bledsoe, who quickly fed the ball to Jamal Crawford on an outlet pass.

Now this would normally be a time in the game when Crawford would drain a 3-pointer or take it in for an easy layup. But there’s something about being in the open court with Blake Griffin that brings out the creative juices.

That’s why Crawford put the ball between his legs, jumped and lofted it up to Griffin, who caught the ball in midair and completed a windmill slam dunk.

There have been plenty of impressive dunks in Lob City over the past two seasons, but that one may be the best, or at least the most creative.

It put the exclamation point on the Clippers’ 117-101 win over the Bucks and shrunk the Clippers’ magic number for their first division title to 11.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Blake’s day

Griffin spent the previous three days looking at the replays of and being asked about Serge Ibaka’s shot to his groin in Sunday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. On Wednesday night, he played like someone who wanted to put that behind him and give everyone something else to talk about. He did just that by putting up his first triple-double since his rookie season and the third of his career. Griffin finished with 23 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for his most complete game of the season.

Crawford and Barnes lead bench

The Clippers are at their best when their bench gets going, and that usually means Crawford and Matt Barnes are having big nights. On Wednesday, they were both hitting on all cylinders. Crawford finished with 25 points, four rebounds and a pair of assists, while Matt Barnes scored 20 and had two rebounds and two assists. Barnes hit six of 11 from beyond the arc, while Crawford was 3-of-6 from downtown. As a team, the Clippers hit 12 of 29 3-pointers.

Defensive woes

As good as the Clippers were on offense, their defense was fairly subpar through three quarters; the Bucks were shooting 53 percent from the field and were within a couple baskets late, until the Clippers pulled away in the fourth quarter. The Clippers have often talked about pace this season and making sure they are in the control at all times. They did a good job in the fourth quarter, but they allowed the Bucks to score on the fast break far too often through the first three quarters.