BOSTON -- Blake Griffin may not be the All-Star he once was, but he can still knock down an open shot. The Philadelphia 76ers learned that the hard way Wednesday night.
Griffin hit 5 of 8 3-pointers -- many of which were completely wide open -- to drop 15 points in a starting role that helped the shorthanded Celtics earn a 106-99 win over Philly at TD Garden.
After the game, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers suggested it was part of the game plan to force Boston's less talented offensive players to make open shots instead of letting Jayson Tatum beat them.
"I could have made some of those threes. Well, maybe not me. I was a poor shooter. Someone in this room could have made those threes," Rivers joked. "They were pretty much wide open. We gave a lot of 'dare' shots tonight all the way through the game -- a lot of shots were we just dared guys to shoot them. And they shot them and they made them. Give them credit; you've still got to make them, and they did."
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You could argue that's a sign of disrespect to Griffin, who played under Rivers for nearly five seasons on the Los Angeles Clippers from 2013 to 2018 and was one of the team's best players at the time. But Griffin opted to take the high road when asked about Philly leaving him open Wednesday night -- or did he?
"I don’t really take it as disrespect,” Griffin said. "It hurt them. That was their game plan. Obviously Doc makes that game plan. They didn’t adjust, which has been sort of a thing. No disrespect, though."
Griffin may claim there was no disrespect, but he was clearly aware that Rivers devised a game plan that essentially dared Griffin to beat his team. Griffin's wry smile also suggested he took great pleasure in blowing up Rivers' game plan by hitting five 3-pointers -- his most in a single game since Feb. 6, 2022.
"When a team leaves you open like that, you’ve got to try to make them pay," Griffin added. "(I was) shooting open shots all night, so it was nice to see some of them go through."