Video: Clippers' Blake Griffin throws down poster dunk on Celtics' Kris Humphries
The Clippers led 74-72 with four minutes left in the third quarter when Griffin received a bounce pass from Jamal Crawford that split two defenders. Griffin caught it just inside the free throw line and immediately stepped into a soft spot in Boston's defense as Humphries prepared to contest the shot just inside the protected circle. Sensing what was about to happen, Humphries leaned into Griffin as he elevated, slowing Griffin's horizontal momentum slightly.
Knowing that he couldn't complete a traditional dunk, Griffin decided to fling the ball into the basket because there was too much separation between his body and the hoop. The ball went through, and Griffin was awarded a free throw for the contact from Humphries as well.
DeAndre Jordan could only put his hands on his head in amazement after witnessing the slam. (Jordan had a big dunk of his own against Boston. Griffin and Jordan rated each other's slams after the game.)
Here's a look at two freeze frame moments from Griffin's poster.
Here's the sideline angle.
The 2011 Slam Dunk Contest champion joins a growing list of “Dunk of the Year” candidates, which includes Lakers guard Xavier Henry, Celtics forward Jeff Green, Nuggets forward J.J. Hickson, Magic guard Victor Oladipo, Pistons forward Josh Smith and Heat forward LeBron James twice (over Ben McLemore and over Paul Millsap).
Griffin finished with a game-high 29 points (on 9-for-14 shooting), six rebounds, eight assists and two steals for the Clippers, who moved to 25-13. Crawford added 26 points (on 8-for-26 shooting), six assists and two rebounds.