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Lakers, Clippers remain chippy with each other

Each push, physical play and altercation confirmed one thing about the Lakers and the Clippers.

They don't like each other. That intensity in the Lakers' 102-94 loss Saturday to the Clippers reached full boil when Lakers rookie guard Darius Morris drove to the hoop late in the first quarter and drew a foul on Chris Paul. Soon after, Clippers forward Blake Griffin sent him to the floor, a play Brown said was "dangerous" and prompted him to yell at the referees for the non-call. Even with Lakers assistants John Kuester and Chuck Person holding him back, Brown was called for a technical, the first string of five both teams would collect.

"I lost my cool and I told my team at halftime, 'I apologize,' " Brown said. "I don't want to think that the refs can control the outcome of the game, and I don't want to give the other team free points and I gave them a point, so I apologized to our team at halftime. Hopefully I won't do that again and hopefully we won't do it again, but we need to be conscious of it. Because, that right there, I think we gave away (three) points tonight on unnecessary technicals. We need to be smarter with that, starting with me and we got to be better than that. I didn't do a good job."

The frustration hardly pointed to just Brown. The whole game remained on edge. Matt Barnes received a technical foul with 47.5 seconds remaining in the second quarter for arguing a no-call. Metta World Peace and Griffin each received technicals for getting dangled up in a play late in the third quarter. Moments later, Morris was called for a technical foul when he intervened between Josh McRoberts and several Clippers players as fighting for a loose ball. 

"My whole purpose was to go over there and help my teammate," Morris said. "He was surrounded by Clippers jerseys, I just wanted to pick him up off of the ground. He did a great job diving on the loose ball and I just wanted to be there for him. I didn't go over there and try to be a tough guy or anything. I just tried to go pick my teammate up."

It may too presumptuous to state the Clippers and Lakers will have a storied rivalry. After all, the Lakers' 16 championships vastly contrasts with the Clippers' zero. But it's likely such chippiness will continue. In the first exhibition game this season, Barnes earned a flagrant foul type 1 for pushing Griffin as soon as he received the ball in the lane, a call Brown questioned before the game.

Last season, the Lakers and Clippers played in a Jan. game that ended in a string of ejections. With 5.7 seconds left in the game and Randy Foye shooting the second of two free throws, Griffin positioned himself rather physically in front of former Lakers forward Lamar Odom to get the rebound. In return, Odom tugged on Griffin's jersey and continued to do so after Foye made the free throw, giving the Clippers a 99-90 lead. After Odom jawed at Griffin, the Clippers forward put his hands up to indicate that he didn't want the altercation to escalate. That didn't stop former Clippers guard Baron Davis from running cross-court, however. He entered the fray to separate Odom from Griffin, pushing Odom slightly away from his teammates. Odom then put his hands on Davis' arm, prompting World Peace to pull Odom away. The whole incident prompted referees to hand out ejections to Odom, World Peace, Griffin and Davis.

Leave it to World Peace on how these games will play out in the future: "When you got two teams in the same city that are really good, the games are going to be competitive all the time."

 --Mark Medina

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