Aussie Andrew Bogut was involved in a scuffle with Blake Griffin, which led to the Clippers star being ejected from their Christmas Day NBA game.
AUSTRALIAN big man Andrew Bogut was the central figure in a fiery Christmas match-up between his Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers that featured two ejections and two flagrant fouls.
The Warriors edged the Clippers 105-103 in a game that ended with irked Clipper Chris Paul grabbing the ball out of Bogut’s hands.
As the two exchanged heated words, the Clippers’ Matt Barnes shoved Bogut from behind and that escalated into yells from coaches and players from both teams at each other as they left the floor.
“They are a physical team in the middle,” Bogut said. “Sometimes that’s how it gets. Neither of us backed down and that’s how it should be.”
Bogut scored 10 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and goaded Clippers star Blake Griffin into making his second technical foul of the game in the fourth quarter to receive an ejection.
“I was trying to box him out,” Bogut said. “He’s a tough offensive rebounder. Just a little physicality. I think it should have been a foul on each of us and just move on.”
Bogut was issued a flagrant foul for grabbing Griffin, who accused the Warriors of “cowardly basketball” for their physicality.
“I didn’t do anything and I got thrown out of the game,” Griffin said. “(Referees) fell for it. To me that’s cowardly basketball.”
To NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn, who issued a statement on the incident Thursday, it was a mistake to eject Griffin.
“After a league review of the Clippers-Warriors game, we have come to the conclusion that Blake Griffin should not have been ejected,” Thorn said.
“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.”
The statement was some vindication for Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who was irate at Griffin’s ejection.
“I thought we were kicking their butt and they went to something else,” Rivers said. “We have to have better composure and keep playing.”
The NBA did issue a $15,000 fine Thursday to Golden State’s Draymond Green for failing to leave the court in a timely manner after being ejected, Thorn said.
In their first meeting on Halloween night, Bogut and DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers were involved in a shoving match.
The teams play again January 30 at Los Angeles.