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Thunder: Chris Paul takes blame for Blake Griffin's subpar game

Oklahoma City's defense limits former OU star to seven points, seven rebounds and three assists.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: March 21, 2012

Griffin shook his head at Paul's reasoning.

“No, it wasn't that,” Griffin said. “I got open looks. I missed shots. Games like that happen. … They've got a lot of offense and they played well tonight.”

Another factor could have been it was the Clippers' eighth game in the last 11 days and the second leg of a road back-to-back-to-back. This likely explains what coach Vinny Del Negro saw as a lack of overall energy against OKC.

“I understand what he's saying,” Paul said, “but my body feels good. They just beat us — bad.”

Griffin struggled on Wednesday, but the Clippers have struggled for the better part of a month, primarily due to the loss of veteran guard Chauncey Billups to a season-ending injury.

Once 19-9 on the season, the Clippers are now 26-20, the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference and just two games from being out of the playoffs.

“It ain't no secret,” Paul said. “A couple losses here and there and we're out of the playoffs. We've got play with a sense of urgency. We've only got 20 games left and we've got to be good in those 20 games or we'll find ourselves in early May sitting at home, watching the playoffs.”

Griffin concurred and said: “We need to win some more games. We've done a poor job of putting teams away. There's been a lot of games where we've had leads and played well and kind of given up during some stretches.”


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