Blake Griffin: Two-man MVP race
DENVER - Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for the third time this season on Monday but don't look for him to start campaigning to win the MVP.
"No, I think the MVP race is a two-man race," Griffin said. "The stretch of games that we've played and we've been successful has been a huge team effort. Jamal Crawford was playing out of his mind before he got hurt and guys have stepped up and really done their part. With our team I don't think it's one guy that's making us go.
"I genuinely believe it's been a total team effort."
Griffin believes the MVP will eventually go to LeBron James or Kevin Durant but he has at least vaulted himself into the conversation this season, averaging a career-high 24.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 69.9 percent from the free throw line.
"I think he's arguably the third-best player in the NBA," Clippers forward Jared Dudley said. "Obviously you have LeBron and Durant at one and two but you would be hard-pressed to find someone better at three. He's one of the top three players in the NBA."
Griffin won player of the week honors for games played March 10-16. It marks the third time this season Griffin has captured the award after claiming it twice in November. He also won the Western Conference Player of the Month award in February after being one of only two players in the league to average at least 30 points and 10 rebounds during the month.
The Clippers are currently riding an NBA-best 11-game winning streak while Griffin has scored at least 20 points in a franchise-best 26 straight games.
SportsNation: Two-man NBA MVP race?
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For his part, Durant ran his streak of games with 25 or more points to 32 on Monday, the longest in the NBA since Michael Jordan did it in 40 in a row during the 1986-87 season. He also chipped in with five assists in the Thunder's 97-85 win over the Chicago Bulls.
After the game, Bulls center Joakim Noah cast his vote for Durant.
"He demands a lot of attention," Noah said. "And you got to give credit when credit is due.
"He's the best player in the world right now."