Griffin, OU Back on Winning Track
Feb. 28, 2009
LUBBOCK, Texas -- In his first game back from a concussion, Blake Griffin dived over the scorer's table to chase a loose ball in the Sooners 78-63 win over Texas Tech on Saturday. Crazy?
Griffin won't argue with that.
"I am a little bit, I guess," said Griffin, who had 20 points and 19 rebounds. "I feel fine. I feel back to normal. I didn't think twice."
OU coach Jeff Capel, who dashed over to ensure his star was OK, said that show of hustle is not unusual for Blake. Griffin said he did not hit his head when he landed.
"He only knows one way to play," Capel said. "You're talking about a kid who hadn't played because of a concussion. He was just so happy to be out there playing today. Just glad to see that he was OK because that one over the scorer's table was a pretty nasty fall."
The Sooners never trailed, but Tech made it 50-49 midway through the second half. But the Sooners pulled away steadily and ended a two-game skid.
Griffin did not play in the Sooners' loss to No. 15 Kansas on Monday night, and was injured in the first half of their loss to Texas last week.
Taylor Griffin, Blake's brother, added 22 points for the Sooners (26-3, 12-2 Big 12).
The loss was the sixth straight for Tech (12-16, 2-12). John Roberson scored 17 points to lead the Red Raiders.
Blake Griffin, who hit on half of his 18 attempts from the field, played with his usual intensity and abandon.
He went airborne sideways to chase down that loose ball, flying over the scorer's table near the Red Raiders' bench to try to shovel the ball back into play.
He was unsuccessful, but bounced up a couple of seconds later to a round of applause from Texas Tech fans.
Griffin also went down hard on his back early in the first half while fighting for a rebound with Michael Prince.
The Red Raiders, who gave up 40 points and 23 rebounds to Griffin when the two teams played in mid-February this time double-teamed Griffin when he got the ball inside.
Tech coach Pat Knight said it worked -- sort of.
"We cut everything in half that we gave him before," Knight said. "He's the best. I think he's the total package."
Knight, who called Blake Griffin "The Terminator" after losing to the Sooners in Norman, said he wasn't surprised at his dive over the scorer's table.
"The kid plays that way all the time," Knight said. "He's got a football player's mentality."
Griffin said sitting out the Kansas game was difficult.
"It was great to be back. Definitely missed it," Griffin said. "As soon as I found out they weren't going to let me play, I felt like that was the longest day of my life."
Behind 46-37, Tech used a 12-4 run, including five points from Roberson to cut the deficit to a point with about 10 minutes remaining. Slowly, though, the Sooners built back a lead. Omar Leary and Austin Johnson hit 3s, and Taylor
Griffin got two buckets to put Oklahoma up 66-55 at the 4:30 mark. Griffin got his 23rd double-double of the season before halftime, pulling down his 10th rebound with 42 seconds remaining in the half after Alan Voskuil missed an easy layup.
He scored his 12th point a couple minutes earlier off an assist from Johnson that found him wide open under the basket for an easy dunk. He finished the half with 14 points and Oklahoma led 35-28.