Blake Griffin wasn’t happy about being ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul on Chicago’s Taj Gibson midway through the third quarter of the Clippers’ 83-80 loss to the Bulls in Chicago on Thursday. But coach Doc Rivers seemed to understand why it was ruled as such..
On a pump-fake by Gibson, Griffin took a swat at the ball and smacked Gibson hard across the face.
“He got me up in the air on a pump-fake,” said Griffin, who had 18 points and 11 rebounds at the time of his ejection; the Clippers were losing by 14 (57-43) at the time. “I tried the swat the ball. Obviously, I missed. It was disappointing on their ruling because I didn’t want to leave the game. I wasn’t trying to hit him in the face. There was no intent to hit him, only the ball.”
Speaking immediately after the game, Rivers spoke is if he wasn’t too surprised at the Flagrant 2 call.
“I couldn’t see the foul play,” he said. “It looked bad. If so, he would get the Flagrant 2. He (Griffin) was playing great. He was rebounding, playing physical and tough. He wound up to knock the ball, but if you miss and hit the player, you can get the Flagrant 2. You have to protect the player.”
The Clippers are 13-10, the Bulls 12-8.