DeAndre Jordan calls Clippers family, denies Lakers rivalry [Video]
The first time the Lakers and Clippers met this season, there were five technical fouls. In their second game Wednesday, there were six technicals, one flagrant and an ejection.
Yet the players maintain that there's no rivalry.
"You all use that word," Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said. "We don't look at it like that."
No, the teams haven't had epic playoff battles, but they're neighbors who practice miles away from each other and are competing for the affection of a shared city.
Perhaps the description is simply a matter of semantics. After all, Jordan acknowledged that the game was very "chippy."
In one play late in the third quarter, Metta World Peace and Blake Griffin looked like wrestlers instead of basketball players as they rolled on the floor, legs flying in the air, trying to grab a loose ball.
When World Peace stood up, a bit of a skirmish ensued.
"I was on the ground and next thing I knew there was kind of a scuffle," Griffin said. "I'm not sure if that was between me and him. I mean, I felt him kind of on top of me and then I saw everyone kind of come around."
Jordan immediately stepped in and helped assuage the building hostility.
"I'm just out there trying to protect my teammates," Jordan said. "We're a family out there, so we're not going to let anyone try and run over us."
Jordan's statement is well-founded.
Both teams weren't just trying to win, they were trying to steam roll each other.
The Clippers held the lead for most of the game but committed some costly turnovers down the stretch allowing the Lakers to nuzzle their way to a 96-91 win, tying their series at 1-1. (The Clippers won the teams' first game Jan. 14, 102-94.)
The teams don't play again until April. If the Clippers win that game, they'll win their first series against the Lakers since 1992-93.
Those who have floor seats are strongly advised to wear padding to that game.
-- Melissa Rohlin