Because the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors needed to ramp up the intensity in their Pacific Division rivalry a little bit, Clippers forward Blake Griffin called the Warriors “cowardly” after he was ejected early in the fourth quarter of Golden State’s 105-103 win over the Clippers at Oracle Arena on Christmas night.
For its part, the NBA said Thursday that the game officials erred in ejecting Griffin. (h/t CSNBayArea.com)
“After a league review of the Clippers-Warriors game, we have come to the conclusion that Blake Griffin should not have been ejected from the game. A common foul should have been called on Griffin for initially attempting to dislodge the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut and a technical foul should have been assessed to Bogut for grabbing Griffin by the shirt and wrestling with him.”
Griffin was given a technical foul in the scrap with Bogut which was his second of the game. He had been assessed his first technical foul after he was hit by Draymond Green after the buzzer sounded ending the third period. Bogut was assessed a flagrant 1 foul in the dustup with Griffin.
After the game, Griffin called the Warriors out for their tactics.
“If you look at it, I didn’t do anything and I got thrown out of the game,” Griffin told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “It all boils down to they (the referees) fell for it. To me, that’s cowardly. That’s cowardly basketball.”
The rhetoric from the Southern California squad didn’t stop with Griffin.
“Honestly, I thought we were just kicking their butts and they went to something else, to be honest,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “But that’s fine.”
For the record, Los Angeles led 78-75 at the time Griffin was tossed. So, yeah, if a three-point margin equals “kicking their butts,” then Rivers is spot on here.
That wasn’t the only close encounter between the teams, who set the tone for a chippy season series on Halloween night when DeAndre Jordan shoved Bogut under the basket during the teams’ first meeting of the year.
Point guard Chris Paul—who earlier this season called out Sacramento Kings’ center DeMarcus Cousins for a lack of maturity—slapped the ball away from Bogut after the final horn had sounded Wednesday night. Bogut knocked the ball away from Paul and former Warrior Matt Barnes gave Bogut the Christmas gift of a two-handed shove from behind.
“I probably should have been cool,” Paul said. “I tried to grab the ball afterwards, it was my fault. That’s my fault. I probably should have just walked off the court.”
For the record, the “steal” did not count in the stats and the only “assist” was credited to Barnes for his very brave shot on Bogut from behind.
In any event, it makes one very much look forward to the next meeting, which happens to be back at Oracle Arena on Jan. 30.
Tags: Golden State Warriors