Clippers show new attitude in physical win over Thunder
By Jahmal Corner
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Clippers will no longer be pushed around and their latest dustup with a Western Conference nemesis proved it once and for all.
When the Clippers fought back from a deficit to slay the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder 111-103 on Wednesday, they did so in the literal sense as tempers flared and players were ejected during an intense exchange that displayed a newfound attitude.
It all started in the second quarter when Oklahoma City big man Serge Ibaka and Los Angeles forward Blake Griffin got tangled up near the basket.
Ibaka, who was whistled for a foul, flung Griffin off of him and was quickly met by the Clippers' Matt Barnes who shoved Ibaka hard in the chest and set off tussling on both sides.
Ibaka and Barnes were each ejected, but the more meaningful response was a Clippers' rally.
"It woke us up," Clippers guard Jamal Crawford told reporters. "You never want something like that to happen, but it definitely woke us up."
Los Angeles trailed by six points at the time of the incident, just before halftime, but they hit back by dominating the Thunder in the second half where they outscored them 58-41.
"Adversity is good. It always is," said first-year Clippers coach Doc Rivers. "We were down, so you've got to show something. Continued...