LOS ANGELES — Before his Suns took on the Los Angeles Clippers Monday night, coach Jeff Hornacek talked about liking his team’s toughness, saying its something he took away from playing under Jerry Sloan in Utah and tried to pass along to this squad.
Not sure this is exactly what he meant.
Midway through the fourth quarter P.J. Tucker and Blake Griffin got tangled up, went to the ground with Griffin on top and that’s when Tucker threw a forarm/elbow/punch at Griffin. Not really sure how to describe it other than it was a “get off of me” move by Tucker, not one that made a real connection with the target.
But it was easily more than enough. The swing got Tucker ejected (and only he was assessed a personal foul on the play). You can be sure the league will add a suspension to that.
“We got tangled up and went down and, you know,” Griffin said with a grin after the game.”Took a little forearm. But you know, it happens, I’ll let somebody else handle that.”
That’s not how the Suns saw it.
“(Tucker) got tackled, I’m not even sure how the foul was on him,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “He’s standing there, Blake takes him right to the ground and rolls on top of him and he’s just trying to get him off. I don’t know why that would be a suspension.”
That would be a coach sticking up for his player. As he should. Suns fans probably saw it as instant Karma that Griffin fouled out just more two minutes later after back-to-back offensive fouls. The Clippers held on to win the game 112-105.
Hat tip to Ben Golliver at SI’s The Point Forward for the video.