The sellout crowd of 18,203 inside Oklahoma City Arena gave former Oklahoma standout Blake Griffin a loud ovation during pre-game introductions, but the Clippers rookie became the enemy from that moment forward.
Thunder fans cheered every time Griffin was called for a foul or missed a free throw (10 for 17).
Griffin finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in the Thunder's 111-88 victory on Tuesday night. He secured his 47th double-double of the season with 6:39 left in the third quarter and left with 3:23 remaining in the game and the Thunder ahead by 21.
* Griffin had half his double-double secured after just 5 1/2 minutes. Eight minutes into the game, he had 12 points and five rebounds, which put him on pace for 72 points and 30 rebounds.
* With 4:05 left in the third quarter, Griffin drew Jeff Green's fourth personal foul on a pump fake and layup. Chomping on his mouth guard, Griffin stared Green down. Not intimidated in the least, Green responded with a smile.
* With 1:17 left in the third, Griffin went up and did a 360 from about 5 feet, only to be called for his fourth foul when Nick Collison drew his 35th charge of the season. That's rare, taking a charge on a 360.
* The most positive fan reaction toward Griffin came with 7:15 left in the game and the Clipper trailing 91-69. Griffin spun around defender Serge Ibaka for a back-door, one-handed, ally-oop.
THE OTHER SOONER
Clippers rookie guard Willie Warren, who was Griffin's teammate for one season at OU, played the final 3:23, went 0 for 2 from the field and had two assists.
While Warren has been up and down from the Developmental League, Griffin became an All-Star.
“I'm sure he's having a blast,” Warren said of Griffin. “He's doing everything I knew he could do just by seeing him my one year at Oklahoma. I knew he'd be a star and it's happened faster than a lot of people probably thought.”
After Saturday night's dunk contest at Staples Center, judge Brent Barry apologized to a Thunder official for not giving a high enough score for Ibaka's dunk that wound up being the longest in the history of the competition.
Each of the five judges — Barry, James Worthy, Dominique Wilkins, Clyde Drexler and Julius Erving — gave Ibaka a score of 9 on the dunk for a total score of 45.
Judges are asked to flash their scorecards immediately and do not have the luxury of seeing a replay. Barry said he did not realize Ibaka actually had taken off from the free-throw line, which no dunk competitor had ever done successfully.
By the time the judges saw Ibaka's foot on the line at lift-off, it was too late to change any scores.
Asked if he thought Ibaka got robbed, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said, “You know what, I think that he did. He made it look easier that it was. That's not an easy thing to do, and he did it with ease. I thought he could have even gone back a foot. Maybe they would have given him 46 points.”
OKC plays at San Antonio tonight at 7. The Thunder will spend Wednesday night in San Antonio and fly to Orlando at 2:30 p.m. Thursday for Friday night's game against the Magic. The Thunder then returns home for Sunday's game at 1:30 p.m. against the Los Angeles Lakers, who will make their only regular-season visit to OKC. The Spurs (46-10) are on pace to win 67 games. They have three 60-win seasons in their history with an all-time high of 63 in 2005-06. This will be San Antonio's first home game since Jan. 29. Prior to the All-Star break, the Spurs were on the road for 11 straight nights and 17 of 19.
In the crowd were former OU quarterback Sam Bradford, OU tight end Jermaine Gresham, World Series hero Joe Carter and former governor Brad Henry.