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Clippers: Blake Griffin praises DeAndre Jordan’s defense [Video]

December 22, 2011 |  8:00 am

Offensively, the Clippers seem to be set. Just ask the battered rim that was constantly slammed by Blake Griffin's palm en route to his 30 points in the Clippers 108-103 exhibition victory over the Lakers on Wednesday.

"My teammates just kept saying to me shoot the ball when you're open, don't hesitate," said Griffin, who scored nine points in a row in the fourth quarter, including a one-handed jam preceded by a pump fake that sent Troy Murphy into the air.

Electric dunks are quite entertaining but the key to the team's success this season will be defense.

"I thought as a team we did a poor job in the first half defensively," Griffin said. "We scored points ... it was defensively where we hurt ourselves, you know, they scored 56 and we can't allow that.

The Lakers led 56-53 at halftime, then in third quarter the Clippers started making stops and held the Lakers to 17 points while scoring 30.

"In the third quarter, when we locked in defensively, you saw what happened," Griffin said.

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was a big part of their late defensive push. He had three blocked shots, some so powerful that the ball flew out of bounds when he made contact from inside of the key.

"I strongly believe DeAndre [Jordan] could be in the running for defensive player of the year," Griffin said. "He's our anchor defensively. We rely on him a lot."

Jordan's reaction to that praise: "Aw, did he say that?"

If Lob City has its swat team in full force for the opening against Golden State on Sunday, it could be a Merry Christmas indeed for Clippers fans.

-- Melissa Rohlin

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