A physical game got extra uncomfortable for Blake Griffin in the fourth quarter Sunday.
With the Clippers down six and less than two minutes to play, Matt Barnes hit a 3-point shot from the corner. While the ball was in the air, Griffin and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka grappled for position underneath.
Ibaka, unhappy with Griffin holding his jersey, swung and hit the Clippers forward in the most uncomfortable of places: below the belt.
"It's basketball. We play basketball; it happens," Griffin said. "Sometimes, you take it a little too far. I wasn't provoking him or anything like that."
Ibaka was called for a flagrant one foul, and the call stood after the review.
Griffin said he was surprised the foul wasn't upgraded to a flagrant two, meaning Ibaka would be instantly ejected.
Griffin split the two ensuing free throws and Jamal Crawford hit a 3 from the top of the key to give the Clippers their only lead Sunday before falling 108-104.
"I know it would've cost us a lot," Ibaka said.
After the game, Ibaka said the contact below the waist was unintentional, as he was trying to slap Griffin's hands away from him.
"I just wanted to try and get good position," he said. "He had his hands on me. I just wanted to get position to go get a rebound. I was not trying to hurt him like that. We were fighting in the paint to try and get position."
Griffin hit with low blow
Orange County Register | Mar 4