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In the battle for Los Angeles, the only thing that really matters in the standings and the playoff race is that the Lakers beat the Clippers 113-108 on Wednesday. But when this game is talked about a year from now, there will be only two plays that fans worldwide will affectionately remember– Blake Griffin posterizing Pau Gasol, not once, but twice.
Griffin added Gasol to his growing list of victims, who continuously make the unfortunate mistake of trying to defend the King of Lob City above the rim. In an act he previously had reserved only for Timofey Mozgov and Kendrick Perkins, Gasol, perhaps has moved to the summit of Griffin’s ever-growing list of dunk-test-dummies. The first poster took place early in the first quarter with just 1:22 gone in the game when Clippers guard Randy Foye missed a corner 3-pointer and Griffin leaped over Gasol’s back for a degrading two-handed slam that sent Gasol flying out of bounds thanks to Griffin’s knees, which were firmly planted in Gasol’s lower back. ESPN’s basketball analyst Jeff Van Gundy, summed up the slam, as Griffin came back down to earth, cradling the ball under his arm as “just take it home with yah. Oh, my goodness.”
Those who missed the first dunk were treated to an encore performance that amazingly topped the first. It was the dunk that put Gasol in the same company as Mozgov and Perkins. With 7:55 left in the third quarter, Griffin accepted a bounce pass from Caron Butler, and exploded to the rim and extended up and over Gasol for the monster slam. Griffin’s left forearm used Gasol face for elevated-support, sending the 7’0”, 250 lbs Spaniard reeling to the ground as the sellout crowd at the Staples Center erupted to their feet.
“You don’t really see what happened,” Gasol told reporters after the game. “It was quick, a hit-and-run kind of thing, right? The ball went in, I was on my ass, I woke up, I stood up and told the referee I had a f—ing forearm on my face, on my throat, and that’s something that needs to be looked at. But it happened too quick. I didn’t realize.”