League rebukes Griffin ejection vs. Warriors
The NBA on Thursday said Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin should not have been ejected from the team's Christmas Day loss to the Golden State Warriors.
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 talking to Draymond Green after Green elbowed him.
Green was ejected for a flagrant 2.
"After a league review of the Clippers-Warriors game, we have come to the conclusion that Blake Griffin should not have been ejected from the game," NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said in a statement Thursday. "A common foul should have been called on Griffin for initially attempting to dislodge the Warriors' Andrew Bogut and a technical foul should have been assessed to Bogut for grabbing Griffin by the shirt and wrestling with him."
Green was fined $15,000 by the league Thursday for failing to leave the court in a timely manner after his ejection.
The play angered Griffin, who said after the game that the Warriors played "cowardly basketball."
"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.
"[Bogut] got a flagrant 1, and I got thrown out. 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."
Bogut defended his actions a day later.
"We're just trying to win the game," Bogut said Thursday, according to the Bay Area News Group. "We did whatever it took to win the game. We made the big plays toward the end. Everyone's entitled to their opinions and comments, and we're not really affected by that. We'd rather be called cowards and come out with the win."
Griffin didn't talk before Thursday night's game at the Portland Trail Blazers. Coach Doc Rivers, meanwhile, said he's moved on from Wednesday's game.
"It doesn't do anything for me," Rivers said. "It's a human game. I'd love to fight it and argue it and let's play that fourth quarter again with Blake, but you can't. It just happens. It absolutely had an impact on the game, but there's nothing we can do about it.
"We haven't benefited from it, but I think it's still nice that the league does it. It shows transparency. The old league wouldn't say that, but I think it's good that they do say that. I don't think it's a bad thing. It obviously didn't help us but I do think it's a good thing; it shows that they're working, too. Just like teams are working to get better, they're working to get better as well, and that's a good thing."
Green declined to elaborate on what may have led to his elbow to Griffin.
"It was a tough division game," Green said, according to the Bay Area News Group. "That's one of the big things that happens in a tough division game when you've got two good teams playing against each other. We were able to come out with the win. We did the necessary things, made the necessary plays we needed to make to come out with the win."
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Arash Markazi was used in this report.
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