The Nets’ DeShawn Stevenson admitted his flagrant foul on Blake Griffin was an attempt to send a message to the Los Angeles Clippers’ power forward after Griffin had been pushing the Nets around and throwing down dunks at will in the first half. “He was dunking all over the place,” Stevenson said of Griffin, whom he bumped from behind when Griffin went up for another one of those lob passes with 3:22 remaining in the second quarter of today’s 101-91 loss. “I didn’t try to foul him hard, but when he’s up in the air like that there was no way I could give a foul but to bring him down.”
Stevenson said he wasn’t trying to hurt Griffin, last year’s rookie of the year and Slam Dunk champ. The Nets seemed to appreciate the effort. “I think it just showed that you can’t just let (Griffin) dunk all over us,” Deron Williams said. “There were a couple plays where it was just one dribble and dunking on us and there’s no help. Things like that don’t happen with playoff teams.”
Colin Stephenson, The Star-Ledger — Nets’ DeShawn Stevenson fouls Blake Griffin to send a message
In the second half — thanks to physical play from Shelden Williams and Kris Humphries — Griffin scored just seven of his game-high 23 points while taking only three shots. “Yeah, I’m not trying to hurt him but at the same time, he’s coming through the lane dunking,” Stevenson said. “You’ve got to give a hard foul and I saw the opportunity. He was up in the air. I didn’t try to do anything personal, but it’s a hard foul.” “I liked the physicality of our guys (in the second half) and it started with DeShawn Stevenson with that play in the air in the first half,” Avery Johnson said. “I didn’t think it was a flagrant, but that’s just a difference of opinion. . . . I think it’s a good hard foul and that’s why DeShawn is here.” Said rookie MarShon Brooks, who scored a team-high 19 points: “When DeShawn put him on his butt, he was thinking a little bit more.”
Stefan Bondy, New York Daily News — NJ Nets mount comeback but it’s not enough against Blake Griffin and Los Angeles Clippers
Blitzkrieg – The perfect antidote to the afternoon-game blahs? Dunks and defense. If you just watched Blake Griffin during the first quarter you would have thought the Heat had returned to town. Late in the quarter, Blake went over the front row seats and managed to turn an errant carom into a fast break – a play that sparked a 14-0 run. Griffin was everywhere today – he must have hit the floor at least ten times. It was as if he was anticipating a let-down after the Laker game and was on a one-man mission to negate it. Many of the Clippers have backed away from the Lob City moniker over the past few weeks, probably because it evokes flash over substance. But today was a great example of how winning and “Lob City” aren’t mutually exclusive. The aerial show put on by Blake and DeAndre – four dunks in the first quarter alone – brought a sluggish matinee crowd alive.
Jordan Heimer, ClipperBlog — Clippers 101, Nets 91: Welcome to the Rest of the Season
Anthony Morrow lined up from 20 feet, fired and — being a Nets player — missed. The ball bounded to the right side, toward the single row of expensive seats. The Clippers dynamic power forward, Blake Griffin, dove headlong over a couple of fans, saved the rebound, jumped back over the fans, raced downcourt and scored. It was all part of what has been one of the most damaging aspects to the Nets’ slow start to the season: namely, slow starts to games. There was athleticism, power, will in the first-quarter move. But Griffin did more, not the least of which was displacing Nets from where they were planted or stood, legally or illegally. And it looked like the Clippers would make mush of the Nets.
Fred Kerber, New York Post — Nets defeated by Clippers, 101-91