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One of the many reasons games between the Warriors and Clippers are so fascinating is the classic battle between point guards, Stephen Curry of the Warriors and Chris Paul of the Clippers.
Well, Curry and the Warriors may have gained an edge this week simply by not being Paul and the Clippers.
After Los Angeles was clobbered at Cleveland on Thursday, Paul blasted female official Lauren Holtkamp, a member of a crew that slapped the Clips with five technical fouls.
“We’ve got to show better composure, but at the same time some of them was ridiculous," Paul said after the game. "Like the tech I got right there was ridiculous. I don’t care what nobody say, I don’t care what she say, that’s terrible. There’s no way that can be a technical.
"We try to get the ball out quick every time down the court and when we did that she said ‘Uh-uh (no)’ and I said ‘Why uh-uh?’ and she gave me a tech. That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case then this might not be for her.”
For suggesting Holtkamp seeks another line of employment, Paul can expect to be fined, which will sting his wallet. More to the point, though, CP3 made the mistake of criticizing his greatest allies.
The Clippers, with Paul setting the tone, are notorious for constantly working the refs during games. If they're not whining out loud, they're skillfully chatting them up. If they're not making "how did you miss that" faces, they're staring daggers.
It has worked, certainly for Paul. Anybody familiar with the NBA knows CP3 is one of its protected stars. He gets superstar privilege. Opponents such as Curry have come to accept they could get whistled for breathing hard in Paul's direction.
Um, that likely will change with this latest development.
I don't know how other officials regard Holtkamp, but they surely will recognize she is one of them. And they won't appreciate the way Paul called her out.
It is safe to presume that for now, the Warriors and other contenders in the Western Conference are nodding and grinning, waiting to see how this plays out.