The Clippers played the Golden State Warriors, so of course some fallout was a strong possibility.
Warriors point guard Shaun Livingston appeared to be miffed after the Clippers’ 130-95 victory Tuesday night at Staples Center by what he perceived as unnecessarily rough play from the Clippers’ Blake Griffin.
“I’ve got 12 years in this thing,” Livingston told CSNBayArea.com, referring to his NBA experience, “and you’re out here trying to throw elbows at me and wrap me up and do all that. That makes no sense to me. Just play and you don’t have to do all of that.
“You’re big enough and strong enough that you can just box me out without doing all of that.”
Griffin is listed at 6 feet 10 and 251 pounds, considerably larger than the wiry Livingston, who is 6-7 and 185 pounds. Livingston started the game in place of Stephen Curry, the NBA’s reigning most valuable player who was given the night off to rest.
Griffin received a technical foul in the second quarter, but it was for complaining about a foul instead of jostling with the Warriors. The Clippers picked up five of the eight technical fouls that were called between the teams, with point guard Chris Paul getting ejected early in the third quarter after receiving his second technical.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday he observed overly physical play by both teams and contended the referees probably called the game tighter than normal because of the well-documented history between the rivals. The Clippers did not make players available for interviews after their open practice Wednesday evening at the Galen Center.
Livingston, who spent his first three NBA seasons with the Clippers before a knee injury forced him to sit out nearly two full seasons, enjoyed a few quiet moments chatting with longtime Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler before the game. The good vibes toward his former team wouldn’t last.
“He’s going with all these antics — just play,” Livingston said of Griffin. “He’s out here wrapping me up, putting elbows to my forehead. OK. I understand. Don’t get me wrong. They want to beat us. That’s just what you have to deal with.”
Livingston was also perturbed by the chattiness of the Clippers as they built leads as large as 36 points.
“They were out there talking. If they want to talk, we want to talk,” Livingston said. “We’re not going to just back down. They’re up 20 and talking, up 30 and still talking. It is what it is. It’s the game. But just play the game. That’s all.”
It might not be all. The rivalry that has sparked a hallway confrontation, technical fouls galore and enough chatter to fill every bulletin board in the league will resume Nov. 4 at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
Rivers said either Lance Stephenson or Paul Pierce would start at small forward in the Clippers’ final exhibition game Thursday night at Staples Center against the Portland Trail Blazers. The coach said he may alternate the players as starters in each half. … Former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, an assistant on Rivers’ staff in Boston, has been with the Clippers the last few days.