Trans. Apr 22 1:31 ET (Apr 22 1:31 ET ) LOS ANGELES – With the Los Angeles Clippers well on their way to routing the Golden State Warriors on Monday night, Warriors center Jermaine O'Neal and Clippers coach Doc Rivers began jawing at each other. Rivers had said something to an official, O'Neal didn't like whatever that something was and barked at Rivers. Rivers barked back, and within a few moments player and coach were both getting hit with technicals.
The incident – which came midway through the second quarter of the Clippers' 138-98 victory – was merely the latest chapter in what has fast become one of the NBA's most heated rivalries. Even in a 40-point blowout, it was clear the two teams don't care much for each other. And with the series now even at a game apiece and shifting to Oakland for Thursday's Game 3, the tension is as thick as ever.
"It's very intense right now," O'Neal said. "Everyone wants to win. Everybody is looking for that blood. This league is about trying to smell what the weakness is. I don't care if it's the scorekeeper – there are going to be scenarios where you are trying to find an edge and keep yourself going."
The Warriors were down 52-33 with 4:48 left in the second quarter when O'Neal was called for a foul on Clippers center DeAndre Jordan near the Clippers' bench. After Rivers had words with the referee about the foul, he and O'Neal began jawing.
LOS ANGELES -- Forward Blake Griffin scored 35 points, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 138-98 blowout of the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals Monday night at Staples Center. Point guard Chris Paul had 12 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and five steals, while forward Danny Granger came off the bench to score 15 points. Forward Hedo Turkoglu finished with 13 points and center DeAndre Jordan added 11 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. The Clippers evened the best-of-seven series at a game apiece.
There were some emotional moments and some funny stories as Joakim Noah accepted the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award on Monday, like this one. The Chicago Bulls' center recalled a grueling workout with coach Tom Thibodeau. Indiana's Roy Hibbert (166 points, eight first-place votes) and the Los Angeles Clippers' DeAndre Jordan (121 points, eight first-place votes) came in second and third, respectively. He told coach Tom Thibodeau: ''Without your system, this wouldn't be possible.'' The only other Bulls player to win the award was Michael Jordan in 1988.
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah is the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year. Noah joins Michael Jordan in 1988 as the only Bulls players to win the award. Noah got 555 out of a possible 1,125 points, including 100 out of a possible 125 first-place votes from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Indiana's Roy Hibbert (166 points, eight first-place votes) and the Los Angeles Clippers' DeAndre Jordan (121 points, eight first-place votes) came in second and third, respectively.
Joakim Noah was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year today, capping off an incredible run by the Bulls center that helped the Bulls once again become one of the NBA's elite defensive units. Here's a look, by the numbers, on how and why Noah became the NBA's most valuable defender. And in that category, Noah's defensive play contributed nearly seven wins to the Bulls' 48-34 record. His 6.6 DWS led the NBA, slightly above Paul George (6.4), DeAndre Jordan (5.8) and Roy Hibbert (5.0), three other players who garnered votes for Defensive Player of the Year.