LOS ANGELES, USA – Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers called the officiating in his team’s 101-96 loss to Houston a joke, but the NBA wasn’t laughing as it handed him a $15,000 fine on Friday, March 16.
Rivers was seething Thursday night as he pointed out to reporters that the Clippers attacked the basket throughout the game, scoring 70 points inside. But somehow the Rockets, who attempted 41 3-pointers, were sent to the free-throw line almost 3 times as often as Los Angeles.
“Let me say this, they shot 41 threes, right? We shot 18. We doubled them in the amount of points in the paint and it was 24-8 in free throws. That’s a joke. That is a complete joke,” Rivers said.
“I thought our guys drove and got hit all game. Got hit all game. Our guys played their hearts out. But for them to shoot that many more free throws than us and we’re the team attacking and not shooting threes, it just doesn’t make basketball sense to me.”
In a league that doesn’t tolerate criticism of game officials, Rivers was quickly docked, the formal announcement coming in a statement from NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe.
In the wake of the defeat, which dropped the Clippers just outside of playoff position in the Western Conference, Rivers had nothing but praise for his players.
“I loved the way we played. Because no matter what, we kept playing and I thought our guys kept the focus pretty well,” he said. “I told them in every huddle, ‘I’ll keep fighting for you (with the officials). You keep playing.’ And I thought our guys did that.” – Rappler.com