SACRAMENTO Moments after Caron Butler stepped in front of Sacramento guard Marcus Thornton, drawing a charge late in the third quarter, Blake Griffin committed a similar act of bravery. He planted himself in front of the Kings' driving, 270-pound center DeMarcus Cousins, earning another favorable whistle for the Clippers.
Those moments were surrounded by others, like Mo Williams reaching in and raking the ball out of Thornton's hands, sending it out of bounds and Thornton to the floor. Or Kenyon Martin, after blocking a shot into his own bench, swatting another against the backboard that was called goaltending, but also delivered a message.
These were not the types of eye candy upon which Lob City was built, but they were examples of the dirty little details that will ultimately define whether the Clippers emerge from a meat grinder of a March schedule as legitimate NBA championship contenders.
The Clippers began the month by pulling away from the Kings for a 108-100 victory. T...