The tensions between the Rockets and Clippers spilled over into the locker room after L.A.’s 113–102 win Monday night. According to multiple reports, a handful of Rockets players entered the Clippers’ locker room looking for a confrontation after a chippy game.
The tensions between the Rockets and Clippers spilled over into the locker room after L.A.’s 113–102 win Monday night. According to multiple reports, a handful of Rockets players entered the Clippers’ locker room looking for a confrontation after a chippy game. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi reported James Harden, Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green made their way through a backdoor to have words with Austin Rivers. Chris Paul was also involved, seeking out Blake Griffin, according to Woj.
Houston Rockets’ players James Harden, Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green pushed into Clippers locker room post-game looking to confront Austin Rivers, league sources tell ESPN. Security escorted Rockets out before anything turned physical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 16, 2018
Emotions were running high all night in Paul’s first game in L.A. against the Clippers since he left the team last offseason. In the fourth quarter, Griffin was engaged in a shouting match with Mike D’Antoni, and briefly got face-to-face with Paul. Griffin was also engaged in some physical play with Ariza, and both were ejected after an on-court argument in the game’s waning moments. Griffin got in Ariza’s face after Ariza had words with players on the Clippers’ bench, including Patrick Beverley and Austin Rivers.
“He asked me if I was still coming to his birthday party, I said, “Yeah, I’m going to try,‘” Griffin joked after the game about the on-court exchange with Ariza.
Rivers and Harden, who were reportedly involved in the postgame incident, both missed Monday’s game due to injury. It’s unclear how physical the locker room interaction was, though ABC’s Ashley Brewer reports LAPD was called to the area to help resolve the situation (much to the amusement of TNT’s Inside the NBA crew.)
“Let's put it like this, our team was in our locker room. That's all I'll say,” Rivers told the media of the incident. “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 NBA will almost certainly investigate the situation. The win was the Clippers’ fifth straight. The Rockets are winless in two games against Paul’s former team so far this season.