Sports

Warriors, Clippers growing into testy matchup in Western Conference's Pacific Division

FILE - In this Dec. 25, 2013, file photo, Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin, left, fights with Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut, right, as Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) and Darren Collison (2) look on during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif. Griffin was ejected from the game. Whether the Warriors and Clippers are growing into unlikely California rivals might still be up for debate. This much is clear: neither team likes the other. The Pacific Division-leading Clippers visit the Warriors on Thursday night for the first time since Golden State's win on Christmas was marred by multiple technical fouls, elbows and heated verbal exchanges. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 25, 2013, file photo, Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin, left, fights with Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut, right, as Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) and Darren Collison (2) look on during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif. Griffin was ejected from the game. Whether the Warriors and Clippers are growing into unlikely California rivals might still be up for debate. This much is clear: neither team likes the other. The Pacific Division-leading Clippers visit the Warriors on Thursday night for the first time since Golden State's win on Christmas was marred by multiple technical fouls, elbows and heated verbal exchanges. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)  (The Associated Press)

The debate about whether the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers are growing into unlikely California rivals might just be a matter of vocabulary.

Call it what you want.

On the court, there's no denying the players don't like each other.

The Pacific Division-leading Clippers visit the Warriors on Thursday night for the first time since Golden State's win on Christmas featured two ejections, two flagrant fouls, three technical fouls, countless elbows and constant chatter.

The games have grown increasingly testy the past two seasons as the franchises have transformed from perennial losers into Western Conference contenders. The Warriors (27-19) began Wednesday 4½ games behind the Clippers (32-15) and percentage points behind Phoenix (26-18) in the division.

Los Angeles was hosting the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.