Earlier this season, in a game between the New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers, Griffin, one of the game's most spectacular dunkers, caught a pass near the top of the 3-point line and was sprinting toward the rim with 4:06 left in the fourth quarter. He never got airborne. Smith lowered his shoulder into Griffin, sending the Clippers' star sprawling. Griffin remained down for about 30 seconds, then was clearly groggy when he got to his feet. Smith walked through a courtside seating area to avoid three Clippers who confronted him moments after the hit, then raised his arm to acknowledge cheers from the crowd.
8. Robert Horry vs. Steve Nash
With 18.2 seconds left in a San Antonio-Phoenix playoff game in 2007, the Spurs were down three and had to foul. Horry went too far, however, using his forearm to send Nash flying into the lower part of the scorer's table. Horry walked away like nothing happened, and Nash — who was running at close to full speed when he was sent airborne — eventually got up as players from both teams pushed and shoved a bit more after the play.
9. P.J. Brown vs. Charlie Ward
The 1997 Miami-New York playoff series was filled with angst, which all boiled over in Game 5 after Brown and Ward were jostling for rebounding position during a Heat free throw attempt. Brown flipped the Knicks' guard over into a row of courtside photographers, sparking a melee that led to the suspensions of four New York players — Allan Houston, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson and John Starks — for leaving their bench to join the fight. Those suspensions were ultimately upheld by a U.S. District Court judge.
10. Raja Bell vs. Kobe Bryant
In the 2006 playoffs between the Lakers and Phoenix Suns, Bryant had the ball at the top of the key and was being guarded by Bell. When Bryant made a move to his right, Bell took his left arm and wrapped it around the neck area of the Lakers guard, throwing him to the floor. It was one in a series of memorable dustups between Bryant and Bell, who later acknowledged a lack of judgment. Bryant apparently got over it — four years later, he was trying to lure Bell to sign with the Lakers.