These two teams clearly don’t like each other and that was more than evident by the end of the Warriors’ 105-103 win over the Clippers on Wednesday night.
By the time this grudge match was done, holiday spirit took a back seat to two ejections, two flagrant fouls, four technical fouls and an end-of-game tussle between members of the teams.
First Draymond Green was ejected for an elbow to Blake Griffin that was followed by arguing with officials. Then Griffin was shown to the locker room after getting hit by Andrew Bogut as both got tangled up in the paint.
After that, a basketball game was able to be played momentarily in the midst of this heavyweight fight. Even when it was done, Chris Paul and Bogut got into it after Jamal Crawford missed a potential winning 3-pointer.
How it happened: The Clippers led by as many as 13 points in the first half, but neither team led by more than six points after the Warriors took the lead in the third quarter. The lead changed 13 times and there were 11 ties. The Warriors were finally able to take control of the game after Griffin was ejected, although Paul and Crawford almost willed the Clippers to a win at the end.
What it means: The rivalry between the Clippers and Warriors was taken to another level, and it’s only the beginning between these two teams. The next step is a possible playoff matchup.
Hits: Chris Paul took over after Griffin was ejected from the game, scoring 26 point and adding 11 assists. Before getting tossed at the start of the fourth quarter, Griffin was having a stellar night with 20 points and 14 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan added 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Misses: For the first time this season, it has to go to the referees for ejecting Griffin with 10:42 left in the fourth quarter for essential reacting after getting hit repeatedly by Green and Bogut -- culminating with flagrant-1 fouls on both. Griffin probably deserved a technical for jawing with Green. But giving him a second after Bogut was baiting him was ridiculous.
Stat of the game: The Clippers shot 82.6 percent from the line (19-for-23) but made only 22.2 percent of their 3-point attempts (4-for-18) on the night.
Up next: The Clippers now get on a plane and fly to Oregon to play a Portland Trail Blazers team that is 23-5 and tied for the best record in the NBA. This is the first time this season the Clippers are playing Portland. They will have to find a way to keep up with LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard on the second night of a road back-to-back.