My, oh my, what a game of basketball the Clippers and Warriors provided to the masses of glazed ham-filled, ugly sweater-adorned basketball fans Christmas night.
Not only was it a contest that was close until the end, but it was also one that had a high level of chippiness between both sides that went beyond the opening tip and final buzzer, including but not limited to: name calling, altercations, pregame chapel disses, hard fouls and heavy breathing in each other’s faces. The final damage according to the score sheet: two flagrant fouls, three technical fouls, two ejections. Welcome to the new most-heated rivalry in basketball.
Blake Griffin, albeit controversially, was one of those players sent to the showers early, and he had nothing but polite things to say about the Warriors after the game. Just kidding, he trashed them. Of course he trashed them. From BANG:
“If you look at it, I didn’t do anything and I got thrown out of the game,” said Griffin, scored 20 points. “It all boils down to (the referees) fell for it. To me it’s cowardly basketball. I don’t know their intentions, but it worked.”
He might actually have a point. Griffin was arguably baited into both his technicals.
Exhibit A occurred between the third and fourth quarters when Griffin got mixed up with Draymond Green when the latter’s elbow met Griffin’s throat, as one’s elbow does, on a screen:
Green was shown the door for his crimes against humanity.
Next, a couple minutes into the fourth, Griffin tangoed with Andrew Bogut (who’s already best pals with the Clips) when the two got tied up after a whistle:
Bogut, who was issued both a technical and a flagrant, is the one who escalates the dust-up but not after Griffin apparently wraps his arm around Bogut’s back.
Whether you want to use “cowardly” as the adjective to describe either of those incidents is up to you. For us, the word “agitating” comes to mind first. But there’s no denying that neither of these two teams likes the other.
Seriously, the fireworks even spilled over into the immediate moments after the game. Here’s both teams having to be separated after a sour Chris Paul, perhaps for missing two point-blank attempts that would have tied the game with under a minute left, snatched the ball from Bogut, featuring cameos from Stephen Jackson (!!!) off the Clippers bench and Coach White Mamba, Brian Scalabrine:
Both teams meet next Jan. 30. Mark your calendars.
In conclusion, Kent Bazemore:
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