Physical play was in abundance during the Clippers
' first-round series. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images Sport)
Seven games of heated, physical basketball apparently weren't enough for the Clippers and Warriors to settle their differences.
The Clippers closed the series Saturday with a 126-121 win over the Warriors in Game 7, but the action and bad blood between the two teams didn't end with the final horn.
According to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports, the Clippers and Warriors got into a "heated" exchange in the tunnel following Game 7.
The incident came in two waves, with most of the Warriors in the hallway at one point along with several Clippers. The police were called to assist, though it's not believed any punches were thrown.
While all the details of the situation were not immediately clear, it's believed that Warriors big man Marreese Speights was among the aggressors for the Warriors while point guard Chris Paul was allegedly the irritant for the Clippers — though maybe even in silence. As was described by the witnesses, Paul came along as the incident appeared to be dying down and his mere presence picked things up again.
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In addition to Speights and Paul, Amick reports that the Clippers' Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes and Glen Davis were spotted on the scene, as well as the Warriors' Jermaine O'Neal, Stephen Curry, Steve Blake and head coach Mark Jackson.
The feud was reportedly sparked after the somber Warriors, coping with the reality of their season ending, lost their patience with the Clippers' raucous celebration down the hallway. According to the report, "a loud remark was made several times into the Warriors locker room about how quiet it was," prompting Golden State's players to leave the locker room and seek the irritator.
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While it appears the tunnel altercation didn't escalate to the point of a fight, it isn't surprising that these two teams are still going at each other's throats. The Warriors accused the Clippers' Glen Davis of being "dirty" after injuring Jermaine O'Neal's knee in Game 6. And in March O'Neal and Griffin exchanged words after a game, with the Clippers star telling the Warriors backup center to, "Leave that s--- on the court."
All of this is in addition to the bevy of hard fouls, mini-fights and chippy play that have become trademarks of the Clippers-Warriors rivalry. The dislike runs so deep that the two teams refused to take pregame chapel with each other earlier this season. And in maybe the biggest bulletin board material item of all, Griffin said the Warriors played "cowardly basketball" after getting into it with the Warriors on Christmas Day.
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