You don't need to be an optometrist to observe what Clippers coach Doc Rivers thought of the officiating in Los Angeles’ 102-93 loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. With just over 1:30 to go in the fourth quarter, Rivers picked up two technical fouls over what appeared to be a timeout discrepancy stemming from an earlier challenge not being honored. And he promptly gave referee Tony Brothers an earful.
“The refs screwed up,” Rivers said after the game. “Mistakes like that cannot happen on this level. That was awful.”
As the Clippers coach pleaded his case to the game’s officials, his son Austin, a shooting guard for the Rockets, gleefully signaled for the officials to give his father a technical foul.
Austin continued to revel in his father’s frustration, waving goodbye as his dad was escorted off the court before signaling for Doc to call him.
The Clippers' head coach has been one of the most outspoken critiques of the NBA’s new challenge rule. Just last week, after Los Angeles’ 129-124 loss to the Bucks, Rivers complained about an offensive foul call being upheld against Lou Williams after a coaches challenge.
“That was awful,” Rivers said of the challenge ruling that night. “It was. They should’ve overturned it. That’s why I hate the rule…I said it up front. And now I like it even less.”
Following his team’s loss to the Rockets Wednesday night, Rivers did admit there was a lot of griping during the game and that his team didn’t “deserve to win” considering how they played.
Rockets star James Harden finished with 47 points, seven assists and six rebounds, already his fifth 40-plus point game this year.
Clippers star Kawhi Leonard countered with 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, but it proved not to be enough.