Apparently, Blake Griffin was worth the wait.
After sitting out all of last season with a broken left kneecap, the Clippers rookie entered Saturday's game averaging a double-double (16.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG). Griffin exploded for 44 points on 14-24 shooting Saturday to set a Clippers rookie record, breaking the mark previously held by teammate Eric Gordon who put up 41 points in a game two seasons ago.
Blake Griffin's 44-point, 15-rebound, seven-assist outburst is just the second such game in NBA history by a rookie. According to The Elias Sports Bureau, the only other rookie to have a game like that was Oscar Robertson; and that happened over 50 years ago on November 15, 1960 when he had 44 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists for the Cincinnati Royals.
Rookies With 40-Pt, 15-Reb Game
Since NBA-ABA Merger
Of course, it wasn't all fun and games for Blake Griffin and company as the Clippers actually lost the game 124-115. A big reason was the Knicks' frontcourt combination of Amar'e Stoudemire and Danilo Gallinari combined for 70 points. Stoudemire scored a season-high 39 to go with 11 rebounds and Gallinari tied a career-high with 31.
Stoudemire and Griffin each had five dunks in the game - including several of the highlight variety. The five dunks match the high in the NBA this season - done also by Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal.