Austin Rivers, Doc Rivers ejected from Clips' loss to Rockets

ByCalvin Watkins ESPN logo
Saturday, December 31, 2016

HOUSTON -- Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers and his son Austin were ejected in the first half of their game with the Houston Rockets on Friday night.

Austin Rivers was kicked out when, after missing a layup, he lightly pushed official J.T. Orr with 6 minutes, 38 seconds to play in the second quarter. Rivers yelled at Orr and waved his arms at him after the ejection and was led off the court by a Clippers employee. When he got to the edge of the court, he tried going back toward the referee and had to be held back by the employee and pulled off the court.

Then, during a timeout, Doc Rivers approached lead official Jason Phillips. Rivers said he was asking why Marreese Speights wasn't awarded any free throws when a whistle was called on a made basket following Austin Rivers' missed layup.

"When they threw Austin out for whatever reason, they called an and-1 on that," Doc Rivers said. "You can see it on the replay, they absolutely called an and-1 and they forgot to give us a free throw. So I called a timeout and said, 'Hey, you forgot to give us a free throw,' and they didn't know what we were talking about. And I said, 'No, you forgot to give us a free throw. Come on, you guys don't know what you're doing,' and that was it."

Phillips ejected Doc Rivers with 6:13 to play and the Rockets leading 59-35. Assistant Mike Woodson took over coaching duties for the Clippers, who went on to lose 140-116.

Doc Rivers said his son should have been ejected for touching an official and that his complaint was with the officials for missing the foul shot for Speights.

"They'll say he made contact, which he did, but it wasn't intentional, which is clear," Doc Rivers said. "You can't judge intent; that's why they will say there was contact, but there's nothing you can do about it. I felt bad for him, [but] that's not why I was thrown out. I was thrown out for a different reason."

Phillips addressed the ejections with a pool reporter.

"Austin drives to the basket, feels that he gets fouled on the play and then, after finishing the play, makes contact while using profanity ... makes contact with official Orr and is ejected immediately on one technical foul," Phillips said.

"During the timeout, Doc is complaining about the play that Austin gets ejected on, and during that compliant, he uses extreme profanity directed at the officials and so therefore he is ejected on one techicnal foul also."

Austin Rivers said after the game that he didn't notice Orr was behind him when he missed the layup.

"I saw the video," Austin Rivers said. "I didn't do nothing wrong. I didn't do anything wrong. I reacted to the play; I had no idea the ref was there. I was backing up and I said, 'Call the foul.' When I did it, I was turning and he was right there and my elbow touched him. I've never in my career put my hands on a ref, and I don't ever plan to. He knows if I would have pushed him; he would have pushed back [but] he didn't go anywhere. I didn't mean to touch him. As he was giving me a tech, I was trying to tell him I didn't mean to do it. I didn't do anything wrong -- I stand by that I didn't do anything wrong."

Both Austin Rivers and Doc Rivers were ejected in a loss to the Washington Wizards on Dec. 18.

It's the third time this season Doc Rivers has been ejected and the fourth career ejection for Austin Rivers.

The Clippers played withoutBlake Griffin and Chris Paulon Friday night because of injuries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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