In the nightcap of tonight’s 12 game slate, the Oklahoma City Thunder are taking on the Los Angeles Clippers in Staples Center. After falling down 8-0 early on, the Thunder have taken control, and at halftime hold a 63-52 lead.
Three of the Thunder’s starters – Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka have scored in double digits already. But Oklahoma City will be without Ibaka for the second year, as the big man was ejected following a scuffle between the teams.
With just seconds remaining in the 1st half, there was a battle for position down low between Blake Griffin and Ibaka. In the aftermath, the two got their arms tangled together, and Griffin held on longer than necessary. He pinned Ibaka’s arm, preventing him from moving away.
Eventually, Ibaka grew tired of the wrestling move, and tossed Griffin to the side. He wasn’t too rough or anything, Ibaka just wanted Griffin to let go. But as we’ve seen more than once, Matt Barnes overreacted. He decided to have a go at Ibaka, and shoved him in the chest. It led to everyone coming together, staring and jostling each other. Ibaka raised his fist as if to throw a punch, but wisely never followed through with the plan.
It seemed like a minor issue, one that would result in a few technical fouls, but nothing more. When the refs came back from reviewing the play on the monitors, they decided to eject both Ibaka and Barnes.
It was a great trade off for the Clippers, who lose a struggling role player, while the Thunder lose their best big man.