For whatever reason, Los Angeles Clippers star power forward Blake Griffin seems to rub opponents the wrong way. It could be his reputation for flopping, it could be that he earned widespread fame and endorsement opportunities pretty much immediately after his first regular season game, it could be something the general public doesn't even know about. What's clear, though, is that he finds himself at the center of various tussles and fights. Griffin has already been involved in one high-profile incident with the Golden State Warriors this season, but it's not an uncommon sight to see him in a minor shoving match with an opponent.
On Monday night against the Phoenix Suns, one of those incidents ended up with Griffin receiving a blow to the face. With approximately 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, Griffin and Suns wing P.J. Tucker tangled on a rebound and fell to the floor. On the ground, they got in a bit of a scrap, with Tucker flailing at Griffin (and, it should be said, Griffin doing something that looks a lot like the same). One of Tucker's arms hit Griffin in the face, which resulted in an ejection for the Suns player following an official review. Check it out below:
It's hard to quibble with the decision, because it's standard practice for players to be ejected for any blow to the head (or often the neck). Tucker can also expect a suspension, as well. If you have any doubts about that result, consider that Griffin is a star with a major role in promoting the NBA worldwide.
On the other hand, Tucker's actions may have been the only way to keep Griffin from demolishing the Suns. In the Clips' 112-105 win, the All-Star went 14-of-16 from the field and 9-of-10 from the line for 37 points, three off his season-high of 40. It was yet another excellent performance in a breakthrough season for Griffin, who has put any concerns about his offensive repertoire to rest. He has reached a new level as a dependable and prolific scorer.
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