Clippers’ Blake Griffin doesn’t consider himself to be in MVP race

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DENVER — It was an interesting question for Blake Griffin to answer.

Do you feel you are at an MVP status based on your recent accomplishments and performances for the Clippers?

“Naw, I think the MVP race is a two-man race,” Griffin responded.

And in the eyes of most NBA pundits, the race to be named the most valuable player in the league will be between Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Miami’s LeBron James.

But Griffin has joined the conversation as an MVP candidate — even if he and others are considered to be in the next tier behind Durant and James.

Griffin was sixth in the NBA in scoring, averaging 24.3 points per game before the Clippers played the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.


He had scored 20-plus points in 26 consecutive games before the Clippers played the Nuggets, averaging 27.3 points on 55.2% shooting during that stretch.

He was 13th in the league in rebounding, averaging 9.7. He was 14th in field-goal percentage, making 53.5% of his shots. He was tied for fifth in double-doubles with 38.

“This stretch of games that we’ve played, we’ve been successful,” said Griffin, who was named the Western Conference player of the week by the NBA on Monday for the week of March 10-16. “It’s been a huge team effort. Jamal Crawford was playing out of his mind until he got hurt.

“Guys have stepped up and really done their part. So with our team, I don’t think it’s one guy that is making us go. I genuinely believe it’s been a total effort.”

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said he doesn’t feel the need to promote any of his players for any of the awards.

Still, Rivers was asked whether he should say something about center DeAndre Jordan being voted as the defensive player of the year or Crawford being voted as the league’s sixth-man of the year.

Jordan leads the NBA in rebounds (13.8) and he’s fourth in blocked shots (2.41).

Crawford, who sat out his fifth consecutive game with a strained left calf Monday, is second on the Clippers in scoring, averaging 18.7 points per game.

“I do like our guys receiving stuff that they deserve,” Rivers said. “I’ll always speak out for that. But I’m not going to go on a publicity tour. I think people, everybody knows.”


Collison out again

Clippers starting guard Darren Collison didn’t make the trip here because he’s still dealing with a stomach virus.

Collison missed his second straight game because of the illness.

The Clippers have four days off before they play again Saturday against the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center.

“It’s good we have a couple of days off,” Rivers said. “So he should be good.”

Willie Green started in place of Collison for the second consecutive game.

Twitter: @BA_Turner