Clippers' Blake Griffin suspended for season finale after collecting 16th technical
Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been suspended one game without pay after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season during L.A.'s 117-105 home victory over Denver on Tuesday.
With a little more than three minutes remaining before halftime and the Clippers leading 55-41, Griffin was teed up after he hit Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov in the head as he tried to make a play on the ball.
Griffin was not ejected, and he finished with 24 points (on 9-for-17 shooting), five rebounds and four assists. The victory over the Nuggets marked the Clippers' 57th victory of the season, setting a new franchise-record. Los Angeles' star will sit out of the team's season finale against Portland.
By NBA rules, players are subject to a one-game suspension when they accumulate 16 technical fouls on the season. Every second technical past the 16 -- the 18th, the 20th, and so on -- incurs an additional one-game suspension.
Griffin entered the game with 15 technical fouls, tied with Thunder forward Kevin Durant for the second-most in the league behind Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. Unless the NBA rescinds Griffin's latest technical, he will be forced to sit out the Clippers' season finale against the Blazers in Portland on Wednesday, and FoxSportsWest.com reports that Griffin will not travel to Portland. Incidentally, Cousins will be serving a one-game suspension on Wednesday after he registered his 16th technical foul over the weekend.
The Clippers (57-24) could move into the West's No. 2 seed with a win over Portland and a Thunder loss to the Pistons. There are no playoff implications at stake for the Blazers on Wednesday, as they are locked into the West's No. 5 seed and a playoff series with the No. 4 Rockets.
Griffin, 25, has averaged 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game this season and has missed just one game all year. The four-time All-Star is on the books for $16.4 million this season; a one-game suspension without pay would cost him $149,000. Wednesday marks the final day of the 2013-14 regular season. The 2014 playoffs are set to begin this weekend.