Found March 03, 2013 on Fox Sports West:
LOS ANGELES -- When the NBA playoffs begin in April, the Clippers will know exactly which team presents their greatest challenge. It won't be their first-round opponent, although any postseason series is likely to be a significant test. It will undoubtedly be the Oklahoma City Thunder. In three games this season, the Clippers have lost to the Thunderthree times. Their chance to beat Oklahoma City and leap into the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference slipped away Sunday in a 108-104 loss at Staples Center. The Clippers have beaten the Miami Heat once and the San Antonio Spurs twice, but they've been unable to solve the mystery of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who combined for 64 points and made key baskets in big moments. There is no point considering a fourth-quarter comeback in which the Clippers erased a 19-point deficit and took a momentary lead with 1 minute and 30 seconds remaining when Jamal Crawford's three-point jumper made it 100-99. They put themselves in an early hole, committing 10 turnovers in the first quarter, 16 in the first half and 21 for the game, a stat Chris Paul called "crazy." So at the suggestion the game could be viewed as a moral victory of sorts, forward Blake Griffin was dismissive. "There is no such thing as moral victories for us," he said. "We've been in this situation before, but we don't want to put ourselves in that situation. The way we fought back, if you're going to try and take a positive away, that's good. We've got to be better from start to finish to beat a team like this." They weren't, making it clear there's a hierarchy in the league that consists of Miami, San Antonio and the Thunder, and if the Clippers want to be included in that group, they'll have to prove it in the playoffs. They're not quite ready for prime time, at least not now. They have every reason to believe they can play the Thunder on even terms. Take away their first half, when they were outscored by 13 points and continually gave away the ball, and the Clippers looked the equal of the Thunder. But beating a team like Oklahoma City requires four strong quarters of play. "The turnovers in the first half really put us back on our heels and gave them a nice cushion," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We could never get any rhythm because of our turnovers. I just thought we couldn't grab the ball, we were losing it, trying to make passes in traffic and then we fouled them. We let them get to the free throw line."Paul called the first-half lapses "embarrassing." "That's crazy. That's not like us," he said. "In the first half, they just did a good job of mucking the lane up. Every time I came down court, I saw a wall. They basically trapped me into ball screens. In the second half, we brought (Lamar Odom) in and we went small, which opened the court up. And once we opened the court up, we could get into the lane and make plays and fire up shots." In fact, the Clippers put together a 12-2 run in the fourth quarter and eventually took the lead, but after Thunder coach Scott Brooks called a timeout, Westbrook drove through the middle of the Clippers defense for a layup. Griffin fouled out of the game on a three-point play by Serge Ibaka with 59 seconds left, and Ibaka's free throw made it 104-100. Only one minute earlier, Ibaka was called for a flagrant foul 1 on Griffin after smacking the Clippers forward's arm on a rebound and hitting him in the groin. Griffin went down in a heap. Ibaka probably should have been ejected at that point, but he stayed in the game and later converted the basket and free throw that doomed the Clippers. Ibaka said he was only trying to free his arm from Griffin on the play, but it actually appeared the other way around. "I guess it's a chippy game like that every time we play," Griffin said. "We're both pretty physical teams with physical bigs. There was a lot of pushing and all that going on down low." Paul had 26 points andeight assists for the Clippers, and Griffin and Crawford had 20 each, but Durant's 35 and Westbrook's 29 were decisive for the Thunder, whose 16 losses are three fewer than the Clippers (43-16). If nothing else, at least the Clippers know what they're up against as they begin the final seven weeks of the season. They weren't able to beat the Thunder in the regular season, but it doesn't mean they won't see them again in the playoffs. And if that happens, will their 0-3 record against them have meaning? "It doesn't (matter)," Paul said. "I think last year we were 3-1 against them during the season and they got to the NBA Finals. "Both teams are still building, jockeying for position and stuff like that. But we need to keep building up wins because maybe some time again later in the season we'll see them again." It could happen.

Blake Griffin shocked by Serge Ibaka fine

The Los Angeles Clippers Blake Griffin took what will probably be noted as the shot of the year when the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Serge Ibaka punched him in the groin. We’ve all seen it, winced and wondered out loud why Ibaka was not ejected with a flagrant-2 foul. The NBA upon further review decided simply to fine Ibaka $25, 0000 in lieu of suspending him for a game or two...

Griffin lets the NBA handle Ibaka's foul

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. Blake Griffin would have preferred to see Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka get suspended after striking him in the groin on national TV Sunday, but the Clippers forward said he would accept whatever the NBA decided in the matter. I dont really see how it can be let go, but if it is, whatever, Griffin said after practice Tuesday. Im not going to do anything...

Serge Ibaka hits Blake Griffin by groin (Video)

Serge Ibaka got away with what appeared to be a hit to Blake Griffin’s groin at the end of Oklahoma City’s 108-104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday. The two were fighting under the basket for position as Matt Barnes’ 3-pointer from the corner went in with less than two minutes left in the game. As the ball was nearing the basket, Ibaka hit Griffin below the waist. ...

Serge Ibaka says he was not trying to hurt Blake Griffin with groin punch

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka received a flagrant-1 foul on Sunday when he hit Blake Griffin near the groin (video of the play here) during his team’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers. It is unclear whether Ibaka hit Griffin in the man region or not, but it certainly looked like the swing itself was intentional. After the game, Ibaka insisted that he was not trying...

Serge Ibaka punches Blake Griffin in the groin, earns flagrant foul (Video)

There are flagrant fouls and there are things that we here at That NBA Lottery Pick like to deem as  "super flagrant fouls".Near the end of Sunday afternoon's Clippers/Thunder match-up, Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka decided to pull off his own version of tough love with Blake Griffin.Watch as Ibaka punches Griffin right in the groin and gets called for a flagrant foul:

GIF: Serge Ibaka punches Blake Griffin in the nuts

Sunday at Staples Center, the Oklahoma City Thunder's Serge Ibaka supplied quite the nut shot to Los Angels Clippers star Blake Griffin with under two minutes to go in a showdown between two of the Western Conference's top teams. In GIF form via HardwoodParoxysm.Com, watch Ibaka punch Griffin in the balls: After reviewing the play, the officials somehow let...

Serge Ibaka Karate Chopped Blake Griffin in the nuts

Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka committed a cardinal sin when defending Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin on Sunday.  I mean, I know Griffin was boxing Ibaka out, but seriously?  Karate chopping someone in the nuts is not cool.  I can’t believe Ibaka was only given a flagrant and wasn’t thrown out of the game.  Ibaka was huge down the stretch...

Ibaka fined 25,000 for hit on Griffin

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka has been fined 25,000 by the NBA for striking Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers in the groin area during Sunday's game. NBA executive vice president for basketball operations Stu Jackson announced the fine Tuesday. The league also upgraded the flagrant foul 1 Ibaka's was given for hitting Griffin as the two battled...

Serge Ibaka Gets A Flagrant 1 For Punching Blake Griffin In The Groin

Looks like Serge Ibaka took some notes from Nicholas Batum in the Summer Olympics game. After leading by as much as 19 points, the Oklahoma City Thunder allowed the Los Angeles Clippers to crawl within three in the final 2 minutes, where Serge Ibaka hits Blake Griffin in a particularly sensitive region in their fight for rebounding position. While the hit looked malicious, Serge...

Serge Ibaka Fined, Not Suspended, For Hit To Blake Griffin

The NBA has fined Serge Ibaka $25,000 for striking Clippers’ Blake Griffin in the groin during the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s game at Staples Center. The league also upgraded the low blow, which was originally ruled a Flagrant 1 foul, to a Flagrant 2 foul, meaning Ibaka should of been ejected. The Thunder forward, receiving no suspension, will be available to play tonight...

Serge Ibaka Won’t Be Suspended for Hitting Blake Griffin In The Nuts

The only thing I can think of is that Ibaka sent Keri Hilson up to David Stern’s office to take care of the problem. I rather take a Metta World Peace elbow, than getting hit in the groin. Serge Ibaka has been fined $25k by NBA “for striking Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers in the groin area.” — Howard Beck (@HowardBeckNYT) March 5, 2013 This should have been a...

Ibaka fined $25K, not suspended for Griffin hit

Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka has been fined $25,000 by the national basketball association for striking Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers in the groin area during Sunday's game.,

Top 10 NBA plays from February

  Check out the Top 10 NBA plays from February. There are dunks, buzzer beaters and of course, a Miami Heat featuring LeBron James moment. Plus, Blake Griffin and the Clippers and even a Jay Z sighting from Nets vs. Bucks.   video via NBA
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