OKC Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka delivered a painful blow to Blake Griffin’s groin in Game 4. Ibaka says he didn’t intentionally hit the airborne Griffin, and instead was pushed from behind by a teammate. Per Yahoo! Sports:
About 45 seconds into the Clippers’ 101-99 victory over the Thunder, Ibaka appeared to be pushed from behind by teammate Kendrick Perkins before he hit Griffin in the groin with his fist during an offensive rebound attempt. No foul or technical was called on Ibaka. Griffin kneeled down in pain, but stayed in the game. The NBA will review the play prior to Tuesday’s Game 5 of the Clippers-Thunder series in Oklahoma City, a league source said.
“No punch thrown,” Ibaka said. “I was in traffic and one of my teammates pushed me from the back. Then I tried to fall and [Griffin] was already up. It was nothing like that.”
When asked if Ibaka hit him purposely, Griffin said, “I don’t know. I can’t get into his head.”
This wasn’t the first time Ibaka has hit Griffin below the belt. Ibaka was fined $25,000 but not suspended after hitting Griffin in the groin during a game on March 3, 2013. Griffin also received a bloody nose when he bumped into Ibaka in Game 3 of this series.
“I didn’t see it,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of Ibaka’s hit on Griffin in Game 4. “Coaches were yelling in my ear. …I’m sure I’ll see it. I don’t worry about all that.
“I love the physical play. I think they should just keep playing physical, let them play like that. If a guy throws a punch, then the league will take care of it.”