HOUSTON (AP) — Austin Rivers and father/coach Doc Rivers were ejected in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Clippers’ loss to the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
The younger Rivers was tossed after missing a layup and slightly pushing referee J.T. Orr with 6:38 left in the second quarter. After the ejection, he yelled at Orr and waved his arms at him 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.
During a timeout a few seconds later, Doc Rivers walked toward where all three referees were standing and began yelling at them. He was then ejected by crew chief Jason Phillips. The Clippers trailed 59-35 when the elder Rivers was ejected and eventually lost 140-116.
Austin Rivers said the contact with the official was an accident.
“I would never put my hands on a ref. I have never done anything like that in my career and it was frustrating to me because he happened to be right behind me,” Austin Rivers said. “He knows I didn’t touch him like that … he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and unfortunately it cost me the game … and it was a big deal for our team me going down.”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers leaves the court after being ejected in the second quarter vs. Rockets.
During a timeout a few seconds later, Doc Rivers walked toward where all three referees were standing and began yelling at them. He was then ejected by crew chief Jason Phillips.
Phillips said Rivers was ejected for using “extreme profanity” while complaining about his son being ejected. But Doc Rivers said that wasn’t the case and he called the timeout because they saw an official call a foul on a layup Marreese Speights made on the play before the timeout, but didn’t give them the free throw.
“I said: ‘No you forgot to give us the free throw,”’ Doc Rivers said. “I said: ‘Come on, you guys don’t know what you’re doing.’ That was it.”
It was the second time the pair has been tossed in the same game, including ejections late in a loss to the Washington Wizards on Dec. 18. The coach has been ejected three times this season; it’s the fourth career ejection for his son.