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Blake Griffin's buzzer-beating three takes Clippers past Suns, 121-120, in OT

Blake Griffin's desperation three hits rim and goes in at horn in overtime for Clippers' eighth straight win

Blake Griffin dunked, and Dr. J clapped in admiration.

Griffin made a sweeping drive while being fouled, and Staples Center roared.

Griffin connected on a step-back three-pointer as time expired, and his teammates mobbed him on the court.

Griffin's approval rating may have never been higher than it was Monday night, his superb play serving as the ultimate rebuttal to the Phoenix Suns and the referees during the Clippers' emotionally charged 121-120 overtime victory.

Griffin took an inbounds pass from Chris Paul with 2.6 seconds left and his team trailing by two points before dribbling once, stepping back and hoisting a 26-footer. The shot bounced off the front of the rim and high off the backboard before rattling into the basket to give the Clippers their eighth consecutive victory in most improbable fashion.

"Right when I shot it, I thought it was flat, short, off, everything," said Griffin, who scored a season-high 45 points. "I got a lucky bounce. When it went in, I just took off running."

Said Clippers Coach Doc Rivers: "I don't know what kind of spin he put on that. It was like it stopped and somebody pulled it back in."

The Clippers had trailed by four points with only 43.6 seconds in the extra period after Phoenix's Markieff Morris made an open three-pointer from the corner and celebrated with teammates during an ensuing timeout.

But the Suns' Eric Bledsoe committed a goaltending violation on J.J. Redick's layup and the Clippers forced a shot-clock violation to get the ball back and set the stage for Griffin's stunning play.

"I thought it was an airball when he shot it," Redick said of Griffin's game-winner. "It hit the rim and I was like, that's going to roll in. I mean, I was shocked that ball had enough juice to go in."

Griffin finished made 14 of 24 shots and grabbed eight rebounds, helping the Clippers recover from the bizarre ejection of Jamal Crawford in the fourth quarter.

Crawford's first ejection in 976 career NBA games came after he lost his balance in the Clippers' frontcourt while being defended by Gerald Green. Bledsoe picked up the loose ball and was fouled by Crawford, who was then ejected by referee Mark Lindsay after getting close to Lindsay's face.

Rivers stomped onto the court and received a technical for arguing about the quick ejection of Crawford, who had not received a previous technical.

Rivers said Crawford received the technical for uttering an expletive, and apologized to teammates when they entered the locker room after the game.

"He deserved one tech for sure," Rivers said. "I don't know if you get thrown out for that."

Said Griffin: "That was the craziest ejection I've ever seen. I heard guys say worse things tonight and not even get a tech."

The Clippers had a chance to win at the end of regulation when Matt Barnes inbounded the ball to Paul with 5.2 seconds left, but Bledsoe blocked Paul's driving layup shortly before the buzzer.

Griffin had Julius Erving, the famed Dr. J, clapping from his courtside seat in the third quarter after taking bounce pass from Barnes and driving past Morris and Alex Len for a vicious one-handed dunk. The force of the impact was so great that Griffin stumbled backward and fell onto his backside along the baseline.

Griffin thrilled fans again in the fourth quarter with his sweeping drive that resulted in a three-point play, part of Griffin's 10 points during a wildly vacillating quarter in which the Clippers trailed by as many as five points.

"This was gratifying," Rivers said of the victory, "because we were beat. We were tired, we were frustrated and we hung in there just enough to win."

Bledsoe provided continual reminders of why some Clippers fans continue to grouse about his departure, compiling a triple-double with 27 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds.

Ultimately, Griffin rendered it meaningless with a performance that left him the aggressor even after he beat the buzzer and the Suns.

"The funny thing is usually when people hit those shots you tackle them," Paul said. "I tried and I actually had to tell him to let me go."

Follow Ben Bolch on Twitter @latbbolch

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