Suns shedding ‘soft’ label

Apr 20, 2012, 3:19 PM | Updated: 6:40 pm

The Phoenix Suns have relinquished their title as the
NBA’s softest team.

Even though it wasn’t pretty the Suns got the ugly,
physical win over the playoff-bound Clippers 93-90
Thursday night.

With 6:13 to go in the fourth, emotions were running high
when Robin Lopez fouled Blake Griffin hard as he was
about to dunk at the end of a fast break. Lopez went for
the ball at first, but ended up catching Griffin on the
head and around the neck, resulting in a flagrant-two and
an ejection.

“It’s on a fast break,” Lopez said. “He’s not a very good
free-throw shooter, so you’ve got to take that into
consideration. I’d rather have take two free throws from
the line where he might miss, as opposed to an easy dunk
for him.”

Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro disagreed with Lopez’s
assessment.

“I thought it was dirty,” Del Negro said. “He was trying
to take him down, the league has got to do something to
protect this kid, we can only get so many technical fouls,
we can only do so many things. Guys are taking shots at
him. Its getting bad. The kid is in pain right now and
that’s not something Alvin (Gentry) is about, and I know
that so it is just an unfortunate play, it’s going to
happen in the intensity of a game, but we have to do what
we can to protect Blake.”

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