The Warriors-Clippers rivalry has consistently produced fireworks in recent years, and the latest chapter came on Sunday, when Draymond Green responded to a bump from Dahntay Jones by letting off a few shots in his postgame comments. Jones was fined $10,000 for the incident, the NBA announced on Monday.
Golden State easily handled Los Angeles 106-98 in a nationally televised game at Oracle Arena, with Green posting a game-high 23 points, six assists and three rebounds. As Green was being interviewed by ABC on the court after the game, Jones walked by and bumped Green's left shoulder with his right shoulder. Jones kept walking, but the contact caused Green to double-take to determine whether Jones had walked into him intentionally. Jones received a DNP-CD on Sunday.
Green wasn't about to give Jones the benefit of the doubt when it came time to face a group of reporters in the locker room.
[daily_cut.NBA] "It kind of caught me by surprise. I got bumped, I looked, I looked again, just kind of curious if he did it on purpose or not," Green said. "I think he wanted a reaction from me, but he don't play. Me getting suspended and him getting suspended, it's different. When you don't play, that's probably his role on that team. I've had that role once before in my career, a couple years ago. I can't afford to feed into that, where I get into it with him after the game, get fined, get suspended and hurt my team. If he gets suspended, they may not even notice."
The NBA has repeatedly had to step in to hand out fines and suspensions when these two teams mix it up. Green, who was fined in 2013 after delivering a flagrant foul to Blake Griffin, suggested the NBA league office should take another look at Jones' bump.
"I guess, good bump by him," Green said. "I definitely expect that to be reviewed by the NBA. For him to look at me, look at me again and bump me when I'm doing a postgame interview. That's really smart, too, when it's on ABC. The postgame interview is the highlight of that segment and you bump somebody. He got some camera time, which he needed because there wasn't much celebration from their bench today, so you didn't see him much. He got the camera time he was looking for."
Earlier this season, Green stuck out his tongue near Griffin. There have been a host of other incidents between these teams, including: Griffin and former Warriors coach Mark Jackson exchanging words after Griffin stepped on Jackson's foot; Jackson's Warriors refusing to participate in chapel with the Clippers; Jackson calling Griffin a "great actor"; Griffin accusing the Warriors of "cowardly" play; former Warriors guard Kent Bazemoregoofing off after Griffin missed a three-pointer off the side of the backboard; Griffin being ejected from a Christmas Day game; Griffin dousing a Warriors fan with water; and both teams going back-and-forth with the officials during the 2014 playoffs.
Green, 25, has emerged as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in his third season, averaging 11.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks per game.
Jones, 34, has appeared in just 17 games for the Clippers after sitting out all of last season.
The Warriors (49-12) hold a 10-game lead over the Clippers (40-23) in the Pacific Division standings. The teams will square off at the Staples Center on March 31. Golden State holds a 2-1 series lead this season.