There isn’t a full-blown rivalry between the Clippers and Warriors. Yet. NBA rivalries are forged in the playoffs and these two up-and-coming teams in the West have yet to meet on that stage.
But can they please? Can we get a Clippers/Warriors playoff matchup this season? I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
The Warriors came from behind and won 105-103 in a feisty game between these teams that was the best game of the Christmas Day NBA lineup. This one felt a little like the playoffs.
What everyone is going to be talking about, however, is a terrible ejection of Blake Griffin from the game early in the fourth quarter.
Griffin was tossed after getting two technical inside two minutes. The first came when Draymond Green got his elbow up and caught Griffin above the shoulder, to which Griffin reacted a little and picked up a technical. The second came when Griffin and Andrew Bogut got tangled up fighting for rebounding position — really there was nothing much to call here, maybe a double foul at most, but the referees gave Bogut a Flagrant 1 foul and Griffin a second technical.
So to sum up: Griffin had two flagrant fouls committed against him and got tossed for it. The referees seemed to be fighting to get control of a game that really wasn’t out of control. After the game Clippers coach Doc Rivers intimated the Warriors were trying to get Griffin tossed.
This game was a bit testy — even after the last play of the game Chris Paul snatched the ball away Andrew Bogut in frustration and that led to a lot of posturing (not much else, this is the NBA after all).
Paul had 26 points and 11 assists, but when he had a couple chances in the final minute to tie it up he missed, including having Klay Thompson block one of his shots.
Thompson seemed to start to come out of his recent slump — he had 23 points in this one but needed 22 shots to do it. David Lee also had 23 points and added 13 rebounds to the total.
For a Warriors team that went through a cold spell this is their third straight win and might be the kind they can build on — they got some key defensive stops down the stretch.
For the Clippers… they hop a plane and get Portland tomorrow night. There is no rest, but they should come into that one a little fired up after how this one ended.