Joey Crawford ejects Chris Paul, Zach Randolph at end of game
Joey Crawford wasn’t content letting the final minutes of Game 6 between the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers play out. Oh no. The veteran NBA referee decided he had to make himself a central story.
Crawford decided to eject Chris Paul with 2:29 left in the game. Tayshaun Prince was at the line and made his second of two free throws to put the Grizzlies up 113-99. After the second free throw, Paul and Matt Barnes sandwiched Marc Gasol who was in the lane. Paul ran up and rammed into Gasol with his elbow first. It was a physical play, but it didn’t seem to deserve an ejection. Either way, Crawford gave Paul a technical and tossed him.
“I don’t understand how you can throw Chris out of the game,” coach Vinny Del Negro said after the game. “Unless it’s something incredibly flagrant — which it wasn’t.”
Paul said his team had a small lineup on the floor and that he was going down to help box out Gasol.
After his ejection, CP3 gave a hug to Prince, Zach Randolph, and Jerryd Bayless before leaving the court.
Then with 1:57 left in the game, Crawford tossed Randolph. Mike Conley was at the line and getting ready for his second of two free throws when Crawford ejected Z-Bo. No real reason was given for the ejection.
The Grizzlies went on to win the game 118-105, but Crawford’s officiating was suspect. Chris Paul’s brother, CJ Paul, accused Crawford of having a role in fixing the end of the game:
Joey Crawford should be held accountable for how this game turned out. The fix was on.
— CJ Paul (@cjpaul14) May 4, 2013
With such a quick trigger, is there any surprise some Spurs players pretended to shoot a fake Crawford on Halloween? He really had no business ejecting those players, but that’s Joey Crawford.
In all, there were seven technical fouls called, two ejections, and the Grizzlies shot 47 free throws compared to 24 for the Clippers.