Clippers outlast Suns’ foul mood

Rising to the challenge: Blake Griffin is playing at MVP form early in the Clippers' 2016-2017 season. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline.com

LOS ANGELES-The streak continues. One is good. The other is bad. The Los Angeles Clippers are riding on the good side of that coin. The Phoenix Suns, on the other hand, are riding shotgun on the bottom half  of that equation.

The Clippers are undefeated for the season. Well, it’s only been three games, but the Clippers are still perfect. How long they remain that way remains to be seen. But it is always good to get a win, anyway you can get it, no matter how beautiful it looks or how tough it may be to watch.

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Chris Paul scored 24 points and dished off eight assists in leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 116-98 win against the Phoenix Suns on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline.com

This game would fall in the tough to watch department because of the number of fouls called and the stop-and-go game action that took place all night. Fluidity and flow was absent from this ballgame. It doesn’t matter to the Clippers. Get the “W” and get out of dodge.

The Clippers-Suns first encounter of the NBA regular season would officially qualify as an WWE match with the number of fouls called in the game. Sure, the Clippers (3-0) hit the triple digit plateau in kicking the Suns (0-4) to the curb with a fourth consecutive defeat in their 116-98 win at Staples Center on Monday night.

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Phoenix Suns forward TJ Warren (12) tries to get a shot off against the defense of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (12) on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline.com

Sure, Chris Paul played like Chris Paul with his 24 points, eight assists methodical tap dance against former teammate Eric Bledsoe. Yes, Blake Griffin resembled the same old Blake Griffin with his 21 points, 11 rebounds performance in the Clippers’ second home game of the season.

DeAndre Jordan even shot 50 percent from the free throw line. But what was more noticeable than all of that was the foulfest the Clippers and Suns engaged in during their Pacific Division contest. You might as well thought you were watching Wrestlemania with all of the mugging, clutching and grabbing the two teams were doing.

All told, there were 56 fouls called between Clippers and Suns. Now that sounds like a long night day at the office. The Clippers were hit with 23 fouls. Phoenix went to next level with their flagrant touching, getting levied with 33 infractions.

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Blake Griffin applies defensive pressure on Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline.com

Of course, this had to be coaching strategy on behalf of the Suns. To a man, Phoenix is nowhere close to being on the same level of the Clippers and their talented roster. Outside of Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Alex Len, the Suns don’t really have much of a roster that will put fear into you.

That’s probably why this version of the Phoenix Suns foul so much. They don’t have a choice.

Every time the Clippers were looking to run the Suns were looking to play the grab and hold game. It became a ridiculous ritual that played itself out almost every two minutes. This wasn’t even the Hack-A-Jordan strategy that opposing coaches normally game plan when they play the Clippers.

It was more like Foul-A-Clipper, any of them, team concept. Whatever happen to the Steve Nash, run-you-off-the-floor Suns? Well, somehow the Clippers managed to slosh their way through this sloppy contest to get themselves prepped for the speed onslaught they will be facing when they play Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Now that will be worth watching.

Dennis J. Freeman
About Dennis J. Freeman 1138 Articles
Dennis covers the NFL (Chargers), NBA (Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers), Major League Baseball (Los Angeles Dodgers) and NCAA sports (USC, UCLA, Long Beach State). Dennis has also covered and written on topics such as civil rights, politics and social justice. Dennis is a proud alum of Howard University.