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Clippers' Blake Griffin faces misdemeanor charge in Vegas incident

Clippers' Blake Griffin faces misdemeanor charge in Vegas incident
Clippers power forward Blake Griffin looks on during a game against the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 2. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been charged with one count of misdemeanor battery in connection with an incident last month at a Las Vegas nightclub.

The case was filed Nov. 5 in Las Vegas Justice Court and alleges Griffin squeezed the hand and shoulder and/or slapped Daniel Schuman, 39, in the face. The altercation in the early morning of Oct. 19 involved the use of a camera at Tao nightclub in the Venetian resort, a Las Vegas police spokesman said.

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Schuman told The Times in a brief phone interview he had been instructed not to speak about the incident until he meets with an attorney Saturday.

"I'd be happy to talk, I'm a talker," said Schuman, who lives in West Hollywood, "but I don't want to influence the outcome of the case because I know very strongly what I believe and I want justice to occur."

The Clippers did not practice Wednesday and a team spokesman declined to comment about the case.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said he trusted Griffin "100%" last month when the Las Vegas police began investigating the matter.

Griffin faces an initial court date at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Dec. 8, but will not be required to attend the hearing. The Clippers play Phoenix the same day at Staples Center.

According to Nevada law, misdemeanor battery carries a range of possible penalties, including six months of jail and/or a $1,000 fine or community service in lieu of jail time.

Stoppage time

Five days between games will give Rivers enough time to thoroughly study footage from the Clippers' loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

The coach delivered his preliminary review before watching the footage, panning his team's offensive effort. Then there was the Clippers' defense, which received two thumbs up.

"Defensively, we were really good," Rivers said Monday night. "They ran a lot of their stuff with the extra pass and we were there every time. We missed some where deflections went through our hands and they got it.

"But I have a feeling when I watch the film I'm going to be very happy."

The Clippers held San Antonio to 39.8% shooting, including only two of 19 (10.5%) on three-pointers. The Clippers also snagged five more rebounds than the Spurs, the first time they had outrebounded an opponent this season.

Almost every number looked good besides the 89-85 final score.

"On the stat sheet," Clippers point guard Chris Paul said, "it looked like we won the game."

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If there was one defensive area that Rivers could check "needs improvement," it would be his team's efforts to stop Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs small forward scored 26 points, making 10 of 18 shots.

"He probably scored on every single guy on our team," Rivers said.

Twitter: @latbbolch

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