There are some lines you just don't cross in sports. One of them — any punches below the belt.

Thunder forward Serge Ibaka crossed that line — maybe intentionally — in Game 4 Sunday night when he punched Clippers star Blake Griffin right in the family jewels.

Griffin sort of gave Ibaka the benefit of the doubt after the game on whether it was intentional.


"I don't know," Griffin told reporters. "I can't get into his head."

It certainly looked somewhat shady, though Ibaka did get pushed in the back by teammate Kendrick Perkins. But still, who flails his arm out like that when you get pushed in the back?

And Perkins had his excuse perfectly crafted after the game.

"No punch thrown," Ibaka said. "I was in traffic and one of my teammates pushed me from the back. Then I tried to fall and [Griffin] was already up. It was nothing like that."

I'm not sure Ibaka deserves to be suspended because the excuse is plausible, but the two have been going at it all series, with Griffin generally getting the upper hand.

Also, the two have a history. Ibaka was fined $25,000 back in March 2013 for a shot below the belt to Griffin.

The two also had to be separated during a little skirmish earlier this season on Nov. 13, 2013 when they got tangled up under the basket and Matt Barnes escalated things with a swing at Ibaka.

Anyway, Griffin was fine after catching his breath for a bit, and the Clippers picked up a huge win to even the series at 2-2.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. Keep it clean, boys.

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