Typically, NBA fans see Blake Griffin flying toward the rim.
On Sunday, the former Sooners star fell to the floor after Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka swung his right arm and hit Griffin below the waist.
The foul came with just under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when Griffin tried to box out Ibaka on Clippers forward Matt Barnes’ 3-pointer. Just as the basket went through the hoop, Griffin fell in agonizing pain.
Ibaka was called on a flagrant 1 foul, meaning he wasn’t ejected. (A flagrant foul 2 is given when contact is deemed both unnecessary and excessive, whereas a flagrant 1 is for contact deemed unnecessary.)
The Clippers lost to the Thunder, 108-104.
“He hit my hands away,” Ibaka told reporters. “He’s strong, so when he grabs you, your jersey or whatever, and you try to defend yourself and rebound. So maybe you can do some move, not to hurt, (but) just to get good position. But then something happens where you get hurt in the paint. It’s not anything where I want to try to hurt him. I’m not that kind of person. I just try to play hard, and that’s it.”
After the game, Griffin was asked if he had provoked Ibaka.
“Did I hit him first in the [groin]?” Griffin said. “No.
“It’s basketball. We play basketball. It happens. Sometimes you take it a little too far, but no I wasn’t provoking him or anything like that.”
Griffin said “I kind of was” surprised Ibaka wasn’t called for a flagrant foul 2 and ejected from the game.