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LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Phoenix Suns center Robin Lopez should have been suspended for his flagrant foul on Blake Griffin last Thursday and shouldn't have been allowed to play until Griffin recovered from the injury he sustained.
"I have an issue that Blake got hit that hard and he is in pain and he is still in pain and the player that did that played yesterday," Del Negro said. "I have a problem with that. I don't know how the league wants us to deal with that because then it will get out of hand."
Lopez played in Phoenix's 118-107 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday and finished with eight points and five rebounds in 15 minutes. Griffin started the Clippers' game against the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday, but his neck was still stiff to the point he could not move it without pain. He scored 21 points and had 15 rebounds in 37 minutes of Los Angeles' 107-98 win.
"To me it doesn't make a lot of sense when a player gets a flagrant 2 and he's able to play and the other player is still in pain," Del Negro said. "To me what makes sense is that player doesn't play until that player is healthy and playing. ... The league needs to step up and do something in terms of making a statement, not just for Blake but for any player."