For the second straight game, the Los Angeles Clippers see one of their players unjustly ejected. Blake Griffin means more to the team than Matt Barnes, so it wasn’t that surprising to see the Los Angeles Clippers lose a close on without him to the Golden State Warriors, who are living up to the ‘dirty’ label that’s been put on them going back to last season.
The Warriors came up with the 105-103 win getting a big 23 points performance from both David Lee and Klay Thompson, but it was impossible to ignore the affect of the referees on this already quite heated rivalry. First by getting Blake Griffin out of the game despite not really doing anything to merit an ejection, and then again by missing a clear foul by Harrison Barnes on Chris Paul as the Clippers point guard missed another opportunity to tie the game.
Paul had two rather comfortable chances to make things even in the final seconds of the game, missing one layup by simply not hitting the rim, and then again finding a clear path to the basket, but getting clipped in the back of his head by Harrison Barnes was enough to make him miss. The officials decided they won’t call it the correct way, thus giving the Warriors a win they didn’t really deserve.
Stephen Curry was off for most for most of the game, finishing with 15 points on 5-of-17 from the field, but he also added 11 assists, as the Warriors went to David Lee again and again. Lee finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds, putting the criticism of his bad defensive habits on the shelf for one night, carrying the Warriors to victory.
Andrew Bogut played a big part in the events unfolding, and not just with his 10 points and 14 rebounds. The Warriors made a decision before the game, probably in the locker room through Mark Jackson, that they’re going to get Griffin out of this game. He actually kept his cool quite well, only the referees went with the home team and the side that started everything. Draymond Green elbowed Griffin in the neck and got ejected, but Griffin was T’d up for some reason. That set up his ejection, as Andre Bogut kept pulling on Griffin’s shirt until the two were tangled up. All that Griffin was trying to do was get out of the hold, but with all the players joining in to separate (and Bogut not wanting to), the refs once again got the wrong impression, and gave Griffin his second technical, sending him out of the game after an impressive 20 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists performance.
In such a close game, that was more than enough to get the slight edge they needed for the rest of the way. This isn’t the first time the Warriors have been blamed of being a dirty team, going back to last season. Along with the impressive performances from Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala (still not playing like before the injury), there’s also a darker side to this team, which at some point won’t be so easy to hide from even the most awful of officials.