Blake Griffin lifts the Nets off the bench


Steve Nash had no intention of altering the Nets’ rotation of play on Saturday night, but opted to infuse his team with experience late in the third quarter.

Blake Griffin made his first playoff appearance this year — and his first overall since April 2 — and scored eight points in eight minutes in the Nets’ 109-103 loss to the Celtics.

“I thought he was playing his [butt] off,” Nash said after the game. “He really hustled and worked and did some 3s and gave us a lift.

“We needed a boost, energy, life and a bit of conviction.”

The six-time All-Star nursed an ankle injury late in the regular season, but Griffin didn’t come off the bench in Boston’s first two losses of this series despite being available to play.

Blake Griffin
Corey Sipkins

Veteran forward LaMarcus Aldridge has yet to appear on the show. Nash said before the game that midseason pickup and current starting center Andre Drummond and athletic big man Nic Claxton are quicker defensively and “more responsive to the needs of our group right now.”

Griffin, 33, came off the bench with 1:27 left in the third quarter, and his 3 straight points early in the fourth drew the Nets in four, at 88-84.

“I tried to stay ready for every moment,” Griffin said. “Most of the time it looks like you’re not going to play, you’re normally right. But they told me, and I was ready. But that’s just part of my job. is up to all of us to stay ready. But it was great to be there.

Claxton added 13 points with seven rebounds, but Drummond had a statistically quiet game with just two points and three boards in 16 minutes.

New York Post

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