Tensions boiled in last night’s game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets. Both teams posted a 7-3 record prior to their matchup which posed a tough game from the beginning. The pressure became particularly intense at the end of the fourth quarter when the Clippers made a final run and trailed the Rockets by only nine points. The intensity fired the Clippers up, but not in ways one might think. Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley fouled out, technicals were called and Clippers head coach Doc Rivers wound up being ejected from the game.
Amid all the drama that came with Rivers’ ejection, no one outside of the arena knew what exactly happened between Rivers and the officials. Later in a post game interview posted by Clippers writer for the L.A. Times Andrew Greif, Rivers said the “officials screwed up.” Following those statements, Tony Brothers the leading official in last night’s game gave his explanation. Per Clutchpoints, Brothers supported Rivers’ statements in that the officials were wrong but said Rivers’ reaction and refusal to calm down is what ultimately got him thrown out of the game.
It was clear that Rivers was upset about something when he started yelling at the officials. He even made his way onto the court to voice his opinions in what seemed to be some sort of heated disagreement between him and the refs. It later came out that Rivers challenged a call and lost it, not due to being wrong but due to taking over the 30 second mark to call it, per Greif of the L.A. Times. Due to the circumstances, Rivers was told by the officials that he would retain his timeout. Unfortunately this message was relayed incorrectly and the team was not to keep their timeout. This sent Rivers into a frenzy.
Of course, he was angry. In such a close game when the pressure is on to catchup to your opponent there isn’t any room to make mistakes that could could potentially cost the game. Brothers recognized the error he and his refs made but that didn’t excuse the coach’s actions. In a transcript posted by Tomer Azarly of Clutchpoints, Brothers gave his full explanation.
“After he was told the he lost his timeout during that challenge, as you can expect, he became upset and he was given an opportunity to try to get his composure, but it didn’t happen. He came out onto the floor when we wanted to start resuming play. He was given a technical foul. The first one he says, ‘I don’t care,’ and he continued to stay on the floor so he was given a second technical and ejected.”
In other words, it’s safe to say that Rivers was thrown out because he was mad for being incorrectly informed that he would retain his timeout which could have potentially costed the Clippers the game. This seemed to be the last straw for the Clippers as they failed to match the Rockets’ intensity and only scored one basket following their coaches ejection. The Rockets took home the dub in a 102-93 victory.
Not only bad came out of Rivers’ being thrown out of the game, actually a lot of fun came out it. Ironically, Austin Rivers of the Houston Rockets also happens to be Doc Rivers’ son and is the player that initiated his father’s ejection. Amid the heated argument, young Rivers is seen trolling his dad, throwing up “technical signs” to get his dad out of there.
Fans found this hilarious but the trolling didn’t stop there. The Houston point guard took to twitter to add a little more heat to the fire. He tweeted, “Welp… thanksgiving is going to be weird….”
And, if fans thought that was funny, Rivers continued. He then took to Instagram. He posted a few photos from the team’s victory and captioned it, “Great win. Love you pops.” To which Doc Rivers commented, “hilarious…Love you.”
Though, this was a tough loss for the Clippers there wasn’t much time for the team to dwell on it as they are scheduled to play tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans. This is a highly anticipated game as Paul George just may make his debut.