Doc Rivers Says Officiating in Clippers vs. Rockets Was 'a Complete Joke'

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2018

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers argues a call by the officials during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers may soon be on the receiving end of a fine from the league office. 

Following his squad's 101-96 loss to the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on Thursday night, Rivers told reporters he thought the officiating was "a complete joke."

"I don't say much about officiating," Rivers said, per ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon. "They shot 41 3s, 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's a complete joke."

He didn't stop there. 

"I thought our guys drove and got hit all game," Rivers added. "Lou [Williams] down the stretch got killed on a play and no call. Austin [Rivers] gets hit and no call. DJ [DeAndre Jordan] gets fouled over the back."

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The Rockets finished the evening with a 23-8 advantage in free-throw attempts—not 24-8 like Rivers said—but the rationale behind his complaint was all the same considering the Clippers scored 70 points in the paint and Houston managed 36. 

The lack of trips to the charity stripe also represented a deviation from season-long tends for the Clippers. Through Thursday night, L.A. ranks third in the NBA with 25.4 free-throw attempts per game. Only the Rockets (25.7) and Charlotte Hornets (26.7) average more. 

"I haven't [complained about officiating] all year," Rivers said. "Our guys played their hearts out. But for them to shoot that many more free throws than us, and we're the team attacking, it just doesn't make basketball sense to me. It is what it is, and we have to move on."

Now 37-30, the Clippers are sitting in the ninth seed a full game back of the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs

They'll return to the floor Friday for a showdown against Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. 

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