The matchup between power forwards Blake Griffin and DeMarcus Cousins got extremely physical on Thursday night, so much so that Kings coach Keith Smart dubbed the interactions between the two a "great football game." Griffin's Clippers came out on top 93-85, thanks in large part to his clutch shots down the stretch. Griffin's production aside, the Clippers' cause was also helped by the fact that Cousins was limited to just 18 minutes on the court due to foul trouble.
Despite the apparent friction between the two players, Griffin insisted after the game that he wasn't "going at anybody," while also adding "that's something that will hopefully go away for him."
Judging from Cousins' postgame comments, it doesn't look like this feud is going away from anyone any time soon, especially since these two will battle again on Saturday.
"He's in L.A. where actors belong," said Cousins, who fouled out in the final minutes. "He's an actor, so of course he would say that."
Cousins felt that Griffin had shown himself to be a master thespian with 1:11 to play and the Kings trailing, 84-83. Griffin grabbed his eye after Cousins swiped for the ball and missed. A whistle followed, saddling Cousins with his fifth foul.
"I guess the wind from my hand hit him in the eye," Cousins said, via Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. "I guess he got fouled by the wind."
Griffin has developed a reputation for being overly physical when he has the ball. Even though the referees didn't call it, some felt that he could have been whistled for an offensive foul for elbowing Pau Gasol in the face en route to a signature dunk against the Lakers on Wednesday. After the Lakers won that game, Yahoo!'s Eric Freeman wrote that Griffin has come across as a "jerk" after reportedly jawing at opponents and complaining about calls.
If the Cousins-Griffin battle grows even more intense on Saturday night then perhaps the surly Kings star will end up going all-out Jason Smith on the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest champion. During a game in March, the New Orleans Hornets' big man earned an ejection for a hard foul that sent Griffin sprawling to the floor.