Friday December 11th, 2015

Blake Griffin hit Taj Gibson in the head, and then he was forced to hit the showers. 

The Clippers’ All-Star forward was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected from Thursday night’s 83–80 road loss against the Bulls.

With Chicago leading 57–43 midway through the third quarter, Gibson worked to get a clean look against Griffin in the paint. After a pump fake got Griffin off of his feet, Gibson rose to attempt a layup and took a strong blow across his head from Griffin’s right arm. Replays showed Griffin winding up in an attempt to block the shot and making strong contact, knocking Gibson’s head back. 

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The officials reviewed the play and assessed a Flagrant Foul 2, which applies to contact deemed “unnecessary and excessive,” and requires an automatic ejection. Griffin departed with 18 points (on 7-of-14 shooting) and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes.

The NBA league office will review the play, as it does with all flagrant foul situations. In this case, the Flagrant Foul 2 designation seemed correct because of the force of Griffin’s contact, his wind-up, and the very real potential for injury. 

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This is the second time this season Griffin has been ejected from a game. In November, he was ejected from a loss to the Suns after he received two technical fouls for arguing calls.

Paul Gasol scored a game-high 24 points for the Bulls who snapped a three-game losing streak. Griffin’s 18 points led the Clippers. Chicago improved to 12–8 while L.A. fell to 13–10.

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