Griffin’s vicious dunk turns out to be game-changer for Clippers

LOS ANGELES — Clippers forward Blake Griffin had another one of those oh-my-gosh moments Wednesday night.

They’re not quite commonplace, but he’s done them often enough that comparisons become the norm.

Griffin threw down a vicious slam dunk over Boston Celtics center Kris Humphries in the third quarter of the Clippers’ 111-105 win at Staples Center that was so impressive it’s sure to make every highlights show.

"It was unbelievable," guard Jamal Crawford said. "If you look at the picture, you think there’s no way Blake could make that dunk. I can’t wait to go home and watch it on YouTube."

One basket doesn’t necessarily turn a game, but it’s possible this one did. At the time, the Clippers were holding a two-point lead, having already lost a 16-point advantage in the first half. Griffin took a feed from Crawford near the free-throw line, took two giants steps toward the basket and slammed a right-handed dunk over a helpless Humphries, who was called for a foul.

Griffin made the free throw, and the Clippers extended their 76-72 lead to a more comfortable eight points.

"As basketball players we’re supposed to make plays," Griffin said. "I’m not going to get too overly excited (about it) when we should be playing much better, especially in that situation. I might be a little bit more happy on the inside than you can tell on the outside."

In his career, the athletic Griffin has thrown down some thunderous dunks, perhaps none more impressive than his slam over Timofey Mozgov, then with the New York Knicks, in November 2010.

This one was equally impressive.

"I don’t know if you saw me, but I was like, ‘Oh, my god, that was nasty!’ " center DeAndre Jordan said. "I was looking up. I was trying to hurry up and see the replay. I don’t even care about the free throw. I just wanted to see the replay."

The video board showed it over and over again, undoubtedly annoying Humphries and the Celtics, who lost their sixth game in a row and ninth in 10 games.

Griffin finished with 29 points, six rebounds and eight assists in 41 minutes 23 seconds. Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he played Griffin more minutes than he would prefer, but with point guard Chris Paul out, he wants to keep at least one scorer on the floor at all times.

The Clippers are still feeling their way without Paul, mixing in second-year guard Maalik Wayns, who was waived and then signed to a 10-day contract Wednesday, in an effort to find the right backup. Newly signed Darius Morris played less than a minute.

But with shooting guard J.J. Redick expected back Friday night after being out since late November with a fractured right hand, the Clippers at least know they’re getting one starter back. So far, they’re 2-1 without Paul.

"I know how great we play with Chris," Crawford said. "Nobody can make up for that. But we’ll figure it out."