It became apparent in the third quarter Monday night that Blake Griffin was going to dish out the punishment this time against the Hornets, and that he hadn't forgotten about the hard foul by New Orleans forward Jason Smith last week that knocked the Clippers' All-Star forward to the floor.
Griffin's actions showed that the Clippers' 97-85 victory over the Hornets at Staples Center was more than just revenge against a New Orleans team that four days earlier had handed them a third consecutive loss to end a three-game trip.
The game also seemed to be about Griffin's seeking some retribution against someone on the Hornets, though not Smith, who was serving the second game of a two-game suspension for his flagrant 2 foul against Griffin in Thursday's game.
That player turned out to be Hornets forward Trevor Ariza, who was fouled hard by Griffin in the third quarter. Griffin was assessed a flagrant 1 foul.
"Man, I get fouled 10 times harder than that and they call a regular foul," said Griffin, who finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists. "That wasn't a flagrant foul. I'm going to appeal that one."
After the play, Griffin walked toward midcourt and glared at the Hornets' bench. Griffin and Ariza exchanged words before other players stepped in and stopped things from escalating.
"Yeah, I walked back because they stood up like it was going to be something," Griffin said. "There was nothing, man, and you can publish that."
Ariza already was upset because of a hard foul DeAndre Jordan committed against him earlier in the third quarter.
"They foul Blake like that all the time," Jordan said.
Griffin wasn't done expressing himself, picking up a technical foul in the fourth quarter after he was called for a foul on Carl Landry.
The Clippers were physical on defense, a rarity this season.
"No layups, right?" said Jordan, who had one of the team's foul blocked shots. "We're not trying to hurt anybody. That's not anybody's intention on this team. Never has been, never will be. But at the same time, no layups and definitely no and-ones [three-point plays]."
It didn't matter to the Clippers that Hornets starters Smith and Chris Kaman (flu), who was a part of the trade that brought Chris Paul to L.A., didn't play.
What mattered to the Clippers was winning their second straight game in convincing, double-digit fashion. Monday night, they hit their first eight shots and broke out to a 16-point lead.
"We had a lot of fun just because we won," said Paul, who had 25 points and 10 assists. "I could care less who the opponent was. We needed this win. We're here at home for five straight games. It's not about who we're playing against. . . . It's about us getting wins."