Serge Ibaka and Matt Barnes were ejected late in the second quarter of the Oklahoma City Thunder-Los Angeles Clippers game on Wednesday night for their roles in a minor skirmish, while Blake Griffin received a technical foul.
The incident began after Griffin and Ibaka got tied up as Ibaka tried to block Griffin’s putback of a Chris Paul miss. Ibaka tossed Griffin aside because Griffin was holding on to him. Then Matt Barnes got into it by giving a hard shove to Ibaka. A few more shoves were exchanged back-and-forth, but nothing else happened because the referees separated things.
“This is nothing,” announcer Jeff Van Gundy exclaimed.
The referees saw things differently. They tossed Ibaka, who could be heard complaining to the refs about his fate, and they rightfully tossed Barnes.
Recall that Griffin and Ibaka have a history going back to March when Serge punched Blake in the groin. Between their past and Barnes’, refs probably felt they had to act.