Don’t look now, but the West Coast battle between the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors is becoming one of the NBA’s best — and most heated — rivalries.
The squads nearly came to blows during their Christmas Day matchup, a 105-103 Golden State win that included two ejections.
Clippers star Blake Griffin was the second player to be sent to the showers, and he made it clear after the game that he was not pleased with his dismissal.
“If you look at it, I didn’t do anything, and I got thrown out of the game,” Griffin told reporters, via ESPN.com. “It all boils down to they [the referees] fell for it. To me, that’s cowardly. That’s cowardly basketball.”
Referees ejected the power forward early in fourth quarter after he picked up his second technical foul of the game by scrapping with Warriors center Andrew Bogut. Griffin received his first technical just minutes earlier for jawing at Golden State’s Draymond Green after Green elbowed him in the throat. Green was assessed a flagrant 2 foul and ejected.
“Instead of just playing straight up and playing a game, it got into something more than that, and it’s unfortunate because you want to play a team head-to-head,” Griffin said. “You don’t want to start playing other games and playing cowardly basketball.”
Golden State’s win evened the season series between the Pacific Division rivals at one game apiece. They’ll meet two more times during the regular season, with the next matchup scheduled for Jan. 30 in Oakland.