Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Although it was Christmas night, there was little holiday cheer between the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors.
Instead, two flagrant fouls were called and there were two ejections in a game that saw the Warriors come away with a 105-103 win.
Clippers star forward Blake Griffin was ejected after picking up two technical fouls in the second half. Golden State forward Draymond Green was shown the door at the conclusion of the third quarter for throwing an elbow in the throat of Griffin. Warriors center Andrew Bogut was issued a flagrant foul for grabbing Griffin.
"They're a physical team in the middle. Sometimes that's how it gets. Neither of us backed down and that's how it should be," Bogut said.
Harrison Barnes hit two free throws with 1:09 remaining to give Golden State a 105-103 lead.
After Darren Collison missed a 3-point shot for LA, he made amends by stealing the ball from David Lee. Chris Paul, though, missed a short shot, but Barnes came up empty at the other end by throwing up an air ball with 20.1 seconds left.
Paul then drove in for the tying layup, but the ball rolled off the rim.
The Clippers still had life after Andre Iguodala missed two free throws with 9.3 seconds left. Paul then had his layup blocked from behind by Klay Thompson with a second left, and after an inbounds play Jamal Crawford's 3- point shot came up short.
Right after the final horn, Paul grabbed the ball out of Bogut's hands and the two exchanged words. Matt Barnes then shoved Bogut from behind, and coaches and players for both teams jawed at each other.
It would seem there's much to look forward to when these Pacific Division teams meet again Jan. 30 in Los Angeles.
"I still believe it's not a rivalry because neither of us has done anything," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.
Lee had 23 points and 13 rebounds. Thompson scored 23, and Stephen Curry totaled 15 points and 11 assists. Bogut contributed 10 points and 14 boards in Golden State's third straight win.
Griffin had 20 points and 14 boards before being ejected with 10:43 left in the game. Paul ended with 26 points and 11 assists. Crawford scored 19 and DeAndre Jordan had 13 points, 13 boards and six blocks, but the division- leading Clippers had their five-game winning streak stopped.
During the first meeting this season between the teams on Oct. 31, Bogut and Jordan got into a shoving match. The bad blood spilled over in the second half of the Christmas night contest at Oracle Arena.
At the end of the third quarter, Green delivered an elbow to the throat area of Griffin. Officials convened and handed Green a flagrant foul 2 and ejected him from the game. Griffin was assessed a technical foul.
With 1:17 expired in the fourth quarter, Bogut and Griffin got tangled up battling for rebounding position. Bogut used his elbow to ward off Griffin and then grabbed his jersey. Griffin appeared to try to disengage.
"We like them," a laughing Jackson said of the Clippers. "Merry Christmas. It's just physical basketball. We don't get caught up in that. It's good old- fashioned basketball, two teams playing for something. We have nothing but respect for them."
During this time, fans were fired up and chanted, "Beat LA! Beat LA!" while officials reviewed video of the incident and had a conference to determine the penalties.
Bogut was given a flagrant foul 1, but Griffin was given a second technical foul and was ejected. When officials delivered the news to Clippers coach Doc Rivers, he was irate.
"I thought we were kicking their butt and they went to something else," Rivers said. "We have to have better composure and keep playing. I thought the basketball part we were showing them pretty well. All the other stuff, it worked in their favor, It was a smart thing for them to do."
LA went ahead as many as five points later in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors, on the strength of nine points each from Lee, Curry and Harrison Barnes in the quarter, were able to overcome the deficit.
"It's two hard-playing teams," Green said. "There are some key matchups in the game where guys want to go at each other. At the end of the day, we did what we needed to do to win the basketball game."
LA scored the game's first eight points and led by as many as 13 in the first half. The Clippers were up 30-22 after 12 minutes and 53-51 at the break. It was 78-75 LA going to the fourth.