Sports

Clippers awaiting word on Blake Griffin-Jermaine O'Neal altercation

SportsLos Angeles ClippersPro BasketballBasketballBlake GriffinGolden State WarriorsNBA

The Clippers were still waiting to hear from the NBA on Thursday to see whether the league would take any action against forward Blake Griffin and Golden State backup center Jermaine O'Neal.

A squabble between the players began during the Clippers' 111-98 victory over the Warriors on Wednesday night and it carried over after the game.

A league official said that Rod Thorn, the NBA's president of basketball operations, may decide that no action is warranted because no punches were thrown by Griffin and O'Neal.

The argument began with 8:55 left in the game. During a timeout, Griffin walked to the Clippers' huddle and was followed by O'Neal, who began trash talking. O'Neal was given a technical foul by the officials.

After the game, Griffin was in the Staples Center hallway outside of the Clippers' locker room. O'Neal glared at Griffin as he walked by, but Griffin had his back turned and just kept talking to friends.

O'Neal slowly walked about 20 feet away, but then turned around and strolled back up to Griffin. O'Neal appeared to be angry and moved close to Griffin's face.

"Why you going to walk up on me like that?" Griffin asked O'Neal. "Leave that [stuff] on the court. Leave that [stuff] on the court."

O'Neal snarled, shook Griffin's hand and walked away. "Man, I'm a monster off the court," O'Neal said, turning away.

Griffin was asked what he and O'Neal had talked about. "That's between me and him," Griffin said.

This was not the first time Griffin had a dispute with the Warriors.

On Christmas night, Griffin was elbowed by Warriors forward Draymond Green, who was issued a flagrant-two foul and was ejected from the game. Griffin was given a technical foul.

Later, Griffin had his jersey grabbed by Warriors center Andrew Bogut. Griffin reacted to the play and was given another technical foul, and his second technical meant an automatic ejection. Bogut was whistled for a technical foul.

During this season the Clippers and Warriors split four hard-fought games against each other. They won't play again this season unless they meet in the playoffs.

But if the playoffs started today, the third-seeded Clippers would host the sixth-seeded Warriors in a first-round Western Conference series.

Rolling along

The Clippers are playing their best basketball of the season.

Their nine-game winning streak is the longest current streak in the NBA and is the third-best in franchise history. The Clippers had a franchise-best 17-game winning streak last season.

They are also 46-20, giving them their best record in franchise history after 66 games.

"Our schedule has been better for us," Griffin said. "We've had days off in between games, not as many back-to-backs. But, absolutely, this is the time when you want to be playing your best."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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SportsLos Angeles ClippersPro BasketballBasketballBlake GriffinGolden State WarriorsNBA
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