Clippers spoil Paul’s return to LA ending with “search party”
As if Monday wasn’t enough excitement to begin with. For those of you not on the west coast that stayed up late to watch the Rockets vs Clippers game, the last three minutes of the game made it worth staying up. Drama was all over the place, it was hard to keep up from where it actually started. With under four minutes left Blake Griffin scored from under the basket on his former teammate Chris Paul when Paul was called for a foul. This is the NBA now so seeing players overreact to calls in disbelief is nothing new, but right away the atmosphere got testy, and you could see Mike D’ Antoni scream expletives towards Griffin.
Minutes later the LA crowd was ready for a fight as Blake Griffin chucked the ball off of Eric Gordon’s back to keep it from going out-of-bounds on himself, which later led to double technical’s on both Griffin and Trevor Ariza after the two jawed at each other and seconds later both were ejected from the game. Trevor Ariza was already chippy after getting into a war of words with Austin Rivers, who did not play tonight due to injury, and was sidelined in street clothes.
No word as of yet of what exactly was said to Ariza, but after the game James Harden, Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza, and apparently Chris Paul went on a witch hunt for Austin Rivers which led to LAPD being called, and security having to separate the two teams in the locker room before anybody could get physical. As the four Rockets made their way through the hallway they locked both teams locker rooms, Clint Capela supposedly knocked on the door to the Clippers locker room, and when they saw it was Capela waiting at the door immediately the door was slammed shut in his face.
Apparently the Rockets were also calling out Blake Griffin after the game, but nothing crazy happened. When asked by reporters on the incident, Doc Rivers replied by saying “Let’s put it like this, our team was in our locker room. That’s all I’ll say,” Rivers said. “I’ll let you do the rest of the investigation. I will say their entire team was not in their locker room. You’re going to have to figure it out from there.” The next time these two teams is on February 28th back in LA for round two. Clippers also ruined Paul’s return to LA 113-102.