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Thursday, December 26, 2013
Blake Griffin: Warriors 'cowardly'

By Arash Markazi
ESPNLosAngeles.com

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin said the Golden State Warriors played "cowardly basketball" after he was ejected in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' 105-103 win over the Clippers on Wednesday night.

"If you look at it, I didn't do anything, and I got thrown out of the game," Griffin said. "It all boils down to they (the referees) fell for it. To me, that's cowardly. That's cowardly basketball."

Griffin was ejected with 10:43 left in the fourth quarter after getting tangled up with Andrew Bogut in the paint and trying to get free. Bogut was given a flagrant foul 1, while Griffin received a technical foul, his second of the night after receiving a technical at the end of the third for for talking to Draymond Green after Green elbowed him. Green was ejected for a flagrant 2.

"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."

Clippers coach Doc Rivers believes the Warriors, who were trailing 78-75 after three quarters, felt the need to play differently if they wanted to win the game.

"Honestly, I thought we were just kicking their butts and they went to something else, to be honest," Rivers said. "But that's fine."

Griffin was still trying to figure out how he was ejected as he stood in the visitors locker room at Oracle Arena after the game.

"[Bogut] got a flagrant 1, and I got thrown out," Griffin said. "He was grabbing on to me, and they called the foul and he grabbed the neck of my jersey, so I tried to back up knowing I only had one technical, but they did a good job. They sold it. They fell for it. ... I feel tonight I got two technicals for nothing."

When Warriors coach Mark Jackson was asked about any animosity between the two teams, he joked: "We like them. Merry Christmas."

Blake Griffin
In what was billed as a rivalry game, the Clippers and Warriors had several physical altercations.

"We understand it, but it's just physical basketball," he added. "We don't get caught up in it. Fouls, hard fouls, rebounds and screens -- just good old-fashioned basketball. Two teams were playing for something. At the end of the day we know they are a very good basketball team. Nothing but respect for them."

Griffin was held back by teammates at the end of the third quarter while jawing with Green. Following a review, Griffin received a technical and Green was ejected for a flagrant foul 2 after throwing an elbow.

When Rivers was asked what his explanation was from the officials after Griffin's second technical, he said, "I think he said that Golden State was trying to get Blake thrown out of the game, and it worked. That's all I can come up with."

There was brief altercation between the teams near the Warriors' bench after the game when Chris Paul tried to take the ball out of Bogut's hands, but Paul took responsibility for that later.

"I probably should have been cool, I tried to grab the ball afterwards, it was my fault," Paul said. "That's my fault. I probably should have just walked off the court."

Clippers forward Matt Barnes said his teammates felt the need to step in after seeing Paul and Bogut talking to each other after the game.

"You can't let your point guard get picked on by a center," Barnes said. "Everyone tried to split them up. Bogut was talking trash all game. He can talk it on the court, but he knows better than to talk it off the court."