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Clippers

Blake Griffin is on point in helping the Clippers move forward

LeBron James, Blake Griffin
Clippers forward Blake Griffin, looking to pass while under pressure from Cleveland’s LeBron James, is assuming point-guard duties during stretches of recent games.
(Tony Dejak / Associated Press)

In the wake of the Clippers essentially playing without a true point guard, Blake Griffin has taken up the call to become one of team’s primary facilitators.

And Griffin has impressed in this role.

The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Griffin basically is a power forward playing like a point guard for the Clippers.

“There’s times when Blake Griffin is playing a little bit like [Ben] Simmons from Philadelphia, where guards are throwing to him after the guard rebounds and are throwing the ball to him and watch him bring it up,” Sacramento coach Dave Joerger said. “It’s the evolution of the game and the evolution of Blake’s game.”

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The Clippers lost point guard Patrick Beverley for the season after he had right knee surgery.

They haven’t had point guard Milos Teodosic since the second game of the season because of plantar fasciitis.

The Clippers do have Lou Williams and Austin Rivers, but both are considered combo guards, meaning they are more prone to scoring than looking to set up teammates. And the Clippers have point guard Jawun Evans, but he’s a rookie getting limited playing time.

So Griffin will often run the offense.

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He leads the team in assists, averaging 5.0 per game, and that goes along with his team-leading 23.4 points per game.

“He’s always been able to handle the ball and he’s always been a real Mack truck coming down the floor in transition with the ball,” Joerger said. “If he gets a rebound and he’s breaking out, he’s hard and it’s difficult to guard.”

Etc.

Guard C.J. Williams, who played 4 minutes 45 seconds in the Clippers’ win over Sacramento on Saturday night, was transferred Sunday to the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario. Williams missed both of his shots against the Kings.

UP NEXT

VS. LAKERS

When: Monday, 7:30 p.m., Staples Center

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket, Spectrum SportsNet, Spectrum Deportes; Radio: 570, 1330, 710.

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Update: The Clippers have defeated the Lakers 10 consecutive times as the home team, their longest winning streak against them in franchise history. Wesley Johnson is shooting 57.7% from three-point range over the last five games, the highest of his career over a five-game stretch. Rookie Lonzo Ball of the Lakers is ranked seventh in the NBA in assists, handing out 7.1 per game. The Lakers are ranked fifth in the league in rebounds per game, hauling down 47.0 per game, and they are fifth in total rebounds, having grabbed 892.


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