Video: Clippers' Blake Griffin rattles in buzzer-beating three to top Suns
With 2.6 seconds remaining in overtime and Phoenix leading 120-118, Chris Paul inbounded from the right sideline to Griffin, who received the pass at the right angle with P.J. Tucker guarding him. Paul ran off of Griffin, as if to receive a return hand-off, but Griffin kept the ball and surprisingly executed a step-back dribble to create some space between himself and Tucker.
That action left Griffin, a career 25 percent three-point shooter, with no choice but to put up a contested three with less than a second remaining on the clock. The All-Star forward's shot drew front iron as the buzzer sounded and then popped up high off the glass before spinning through.
A replay review confirmed that Griffin's triple was good and L.A. escaped with a wild one-point victory. Griffin was mobbed by his teammates near center court while the Staples Center crowd, including Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, celebrated the shocking turn of events.
For Phoenix, this will be remembered as a strangely officiated game filled with disputed calls that slipped away in heartbreaking fashion. The Suns held a four-point lead with 43 seconds left in overtime thanks to a Markieff Morris three-pointer, but they were unable to hold on in the closing seconds. After a J.J. Redick layup cut the lead in half, Phoenix was whistled for a shot clock violation on its final possession when a Goran Dragic jumper failed to hit the rim. The Suns came up with the ball in the ensuing rebounding scrum, forcing the Clippers to foul, but L.A. received possession after a video review in which the referees determined the shot clock had expired. Griffin took over from there.
The game-winner put an exclamation point on an extraordinary night for Griffin, who netted a season-high 45 points (on 14-for-24 shooting), eight rebounds and two assists. Griffin accounted for seven of the Clippers' nine points in overtime. Paul added 20 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.
Eric Bledsoe notched his first triple-double of the season, finishing with a team-high 27 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for Phoenix. Morris added 21 points and seven rebounds.
The Clippers improved to 15-5. The Suns fell to 12-10.