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CLIPPERS FYI

Blake Griffin, DeMarcus Cousins get a quick rematch

Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins had a contentious exchange during Thursday's game in Sacramento. Two nights later, they meet again Saturday at Staples Center.

April 06, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers power forward Blake Griffin pulls a rebound away from Kings center DeMarcus Cousins during a game last month in Sacramento.
Clippers power forward Blake Griffin pulls a rebound away from Kings center… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

Wrestlemania, Part II?

The potential participants would be Clippers power forward Blake Griffin and Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.

The Smackdown — or Showdown — will take place Saturday at Staples Center when the Clippers play the Kings for the second time in 48 hours.

Griffin and Cousins had their first encounter Thursday night in Sacramento, as they engaged in a physical, elbow-throwing, wrestling, trash-talking exchange.

That led Kings Coach Keith Smart to quip after the game: "I thought that was a great football game tonight. It was two big guys playing and these guys are physical."

The Clippers won, 93-85, and Cousins motioned for Griffin to meet him in the arena tunnel after the game.

On Friday, the NBA fined Cousins $25,000 for his criticism of officials after Thursday's game.

Cousins told a Sports Illustrated reporter that the "refs, the league" have "babied" Griffin.

In other remarks to the media, Cousins called Griffin "an actor" and took a swipe at the All-Star forward's defensive skills. Cousins said that Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is assigned to defend him, but that Cousins often defends Griffin at the other end of the court.

"I attempt to play defense," Cousins said. "That's what it is."

After Thursday's game, Griffin said Cousins was "frustrated" and that he wasn't going to "get into a back-and-forth" conversation with the second-year Kings center.

The Clippers didn't practice Friday.

Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said Thursday night that he approved of how Griffin handled the matter.

"I thought it got a little physical there," Del Negro said. "But Blake's doing a good job with that, keeping his composure. That was big."

The rematch

Judging by comments coming out of the Clippers' locker room Thursday night, they look forward to playing the Kings again so soon.

"Saturday, when they come our way, we are going to be ready for them," Chris Paul said.

The Kings weren't backing down, either.

"We'll definitely come back," Cousins said. "It'll be a better game."

Etc.

Clippers guard Mo Williams, out for eight games because of a sprained left big toe, hopes to play Saturday night.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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