Blake Griffin drains buzzer-beater to give LA Clippers 104-103 victory over Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, OR - OCTOBER 26: Blake Griffin
PORTLAND, OR - OCTOBER 26: Blake Griffin /

After an intense back-and-forth battle between the LA Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers, it was Blake Griffin’s clutch fourth quarter heroics that sealed the victory for the LA Clippers in dramatic fashion.

Game Notes

The LA Clippers remained undefeated, improving to 4-0 on the young season after a wild finish in Portland Thursday night. The win was capped off by a game-winning 3-pointer by Blake Griffin as time expired. Griffin finished the game with 25 points, 16 of which he scored in the fourth quarter where he continued to look like an MVP candidate.

The Clippers got off to an early lead behind the scoring of Danilo Gallinari and Austin Rivers. Gallinari scored 8 of his 16 points in the first quarter. Rivers also added 9 points in the first quarter.

Rivers, who is starting in place of the injured Miloš Teodosic, was able to build on his strong performance Tuesday in Utah. He finished the game with 16 points, shooting 3-5 from deep. Rivers injured his pinky finger near the end of the fourth quarter. He received an x-ray on his right hand after the game, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

DeAndre Jordan finished the night with 7 points, a game-high 18 rebounds and 3 blocks, his first of the season. With his 18 rebounds, Jordan will donate $1,800 to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

Lou Williams continued to provide a spark off the bench with 13 points in 19 minutes. Rookie Sindarius Thornwell also added 6 points.

The Clippers allowed a season-high 103 points to Portland. The Blazers dynamic backcourt duo of C.J. McCollum and Damien Lillard combined for 48 points. Portland climbed back into the game with their strong performance from behind the arc. The Trailblazers made 14 of 31 shots from three, compared to an inefficient 9 of 28 by LA.

The Finish

After establishing a strong 62-53 lead at the half, the Clippers began to struggle defensively in the second half.  The fourth quarter featured seven lead changes and neither team lead by more than five points.

The final minutes of the contest were dramatic to say the least. With 1:20 left Griffin gave the Clippers a 101-100 lead but was answered by McCollum who put Portland back up with 44 seconds on the clock. On the next possession, Patrick Beverley secured a key offensive rebound off a short Gallinari three that clearly hit the rim. However, the refs decided to review the play and confirmed that the ball did indeed hit the rim.

On the ensuing possession, Rivers drove to the basket hard, drawing a blocking foul, but the officials decided to review the play. After the review, the call was controversially reversed and Rivers was charged with an offensive foul. The foul sent McCollum to the free throw line where he split the free throws, putting Portland up 103-101 and giving the Clippers a chance to win the game.

The Clippers had one time out remaining so they were able to advance the ball up with 5.9 seconds left. Gallinari inbounded to Beverley who passed to Griffin coming off a screen. Griffin came around to the left shoulder and let a three fly…. BINGO! Griffin drained the shot as the clock expired to give the Clippers the 104-103 victory.

Box Score


  • Blake Griffin: 25 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal
  • Patrick Beverly: 13 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal
  • Austin Rivers: 16 points, 1 assist, 2 steals
  • Danilo Gallinari: 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists
  • DeAndre Jordan: 7 points, 18 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks


Final Thoughts

Blake Griffin is looking like a legitimate MVP candidate so far this season and his game winner will go nicely on his resume. He is averaging 26.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg and 4.4 apg on 53.6/43.5/70.0 splits. If he can stay healthy and continue putting up these numbers there is no doubt he will gain some MVP votes.

The starters played A TON of minutes this game, hopefully Doc can get the bench units more involved, especially with Teodosic out and Rivers potentially hurt. One key injury could derail the momentum the team has built up.

Speaking of Austin Rivers, he was able to come back into the game after hurting his finger, but fouled out the following play. Hopefully the injury won’t limit him going forward. Check back with us tomorrow for an update.

The Clippers return to Staples Center Saturday, October 28 to take on the Detroit Pistons for WWE night. If the Clippers stay true to form they should be able to keep the win streak going. Follow @ClipperholicsFS on Twitter and join us as we live tweet the game!