Booed every time he dunked the ball in front of his hometown fans, former Oklahoma standout Blake Griffin went up strong for one final razzing against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.
With the Los Angeles Clippers trailing by three, Griffin had the ball roughly 18 feet away from the basket on the right side of the lane. He easily blew past Thunder center Kendrick Perkins and attempted a powerful dunk over Serge Ibaka, who had come over the help defensively.
Ibaka fouled hard enough to make Griffin's throw-down clang off the back of the rim. Had Griffin converted the dunk, he would have attempted a free throw to tie the score at 108 with 14.4 seconds left. Instead, he had to settle for two free-throw attempts.
A disappointed Griffin looked toward the Clippers' bench, pointed at his chest and said, "My fault."
Griffin's potential three-point play wound up becoming one converted free throw, and the Thunder went on the clinch the Northwest Division title with a 112-108 victory before a sellout crowd of 18,203 inside Oklahoma City Arena.
What exactly was Griffin's fault in the dunk sequence?
"I should have made the dunk. It should have been an and-one," Griffin said. "I should have had a chance to tie the game up, so I'm disappointed I missed it."
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said he didn't see Griffin's "My fault" proclamation.
"It was a good play. It was an aggressive play," Del Negro said. "It was something that he can finish, it just didn't go in. No, I thought it was an excellent play by him."
The 6-foot-10, 251-pound Griffin didn't do much wrong against the Thunder, scoring 35 points while converting 15 of 20 field-goal attempts. He also had 11 rebounds and six assists for the 61st double-double of his captivating rookie season.
Later this month, Griffin will be a convincing choice as NBA Rookie of the Year.
"Unbelievable," Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant said of Griffin. "The things he was doing, but even if you ask Blake, it wasn't just him. His teammates did a good job of getting him the ball, making him look good sometimes. But that guy's unbelievable. I'm really a big fan of him."
The Clippers went 2-2 against OKC this season, and Griffin averaged 26.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 60.3 percent from the field.
"Defensively, we had some issues on Blake, but a lot of teams in this league do," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "The guy's a terrific player. He has a very unique game. He can score around the basket. He can catch anything near the basket, and he can bring the ball up the court and make plays for himself or his team."
Asked if he was surprised about getting booed, Griffin smiled and said: "Not really. The Thunder is these people's team. You're not going to cheer for me just because I'm from Oklahoma. I didn't really expect (to be cheered). I'm sure there's a lot of Oklahoma State fans in the audience."