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Serge Ibaka not suspended for striking Blake Griffin below belt

Griffin says he expected a suspension for Ibaka. Instead, the NBA upgrades Ibaka's foul to a flagrant 2 and fines the Thunder forward $25,000.

March 05, 2013|By Broderick Turner
  • Serge Ibaka was not suspended after the NBA upgraded the Oklahoma City foward's foul on Blake Griffin to a flagrant 2 on Tuesday.
Serge Ibaka was not suspended after the NBA upgraded the Oklahoma City foward's… (Christina House / For The…)

Blake Griffin expected Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka to be suspended and fined for striking him below the belt in Sunday's game at Staples Center.

Ibaka was called for a flagrant 1 foul on the play late in the fourth quarter of the Thunder's 108-104 victory.

The NBA announced Tuesday that Ibaka's foul was upgraded to a flagrant 2 and he was fined $25,000 for striking Griffin in the groin area, but Ibaka was not suspended.

Before the ruling was handed down, Griffin said he didn't "see how it could be let go" by the league with only a fine.

"I'm not going to cry," Griffin said after practice Tuesday. "I'm not going to complain."

Griffin also had some thoughts to relay to Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins, who suggested the Clippers forward was equally at fault on the play involving Ibaka.

After the game, Perkins told reporters he didn't think it was a flagrant foul, that Griffin took Ibaka's arm and "knocked him down" and that Griffin is known for "flopping anyway." Perkins also thought the play should have been called as "a double foul"

"I saw some of Kendrick's comments and they didn't make sense to me," Griffin said. "I think what he was trying to say was that I was grabbing his [Ibaka's] jersey so I started it all and I deserved to be hit where I was hit. But if I started swinging every time I got my jersey tugged at, I'd probably be swinging on very single play."

On Monday, Kobe Bryant told reporters that he probably would have "smacked [Ibaka] in the mouth" if the Thunder forward had hit him below the belt.

Griffin said, "I probably couldn't have" responded because he had crumbled to the court after the foul.

"It's not really my job to start running around and punching people and hitting people, because that really doesn't solve anything," Griffin said. "It really just gets myself in trouble and I don't want that.

"I understand what Kobe is saying. You can't really tolerate that. But especially at that point and time, I didn't need to get into a scuffle with the game being on the line and us trying to claw our way back in it."

The Thunder and Clippers don't play again in the regular season, but they could meet in the playoffs.


The Clippers are looking to bounce back from their loss to the Thunder with a win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers beat the Bucks by 26 points when the two teams last played in December.

"I'm sure they'll remember that," Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said. "In this league, you remember everything."

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