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Doc Rivers sick of coach’s challenge, calls out Eric Bledsoe’s flop on Lou Williams

Doc Rivers, Eric Bledsoe, Lou Williams, Clippers, Bucks

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers used his second challenge of the season in Wednesday night’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, and for the second time, he lost it as well as a timeout.

With 7:18 left in the fourth quarter of a tightly contested game against reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, Lou Williams was whistled for an offensive foul. The call was an elbow to the face of Eric Bledsoe from Williams, who was flabbergasted at the call.

Rivers, astonished at the call, took one quick look at the Staples Center big screen before signaling a challenge to the officials.

Referees Zach Zarba, Courtney Kirkland, and Mitchell Ervin went to the scorer’s table to review the play. Fans in the arena shifted their eyes to the big screen, and when the clear angle showed that Bledsoe flopped, they rained boos on the Bucks’ guard.

After a few minutes, the referees came out of their huddle to confirm that the call was indeed an offensive foul on Lou Williams. Both Williams and Montrezl Harrell, who set the screen on Bledsoe, but didn’t affect the play, argued their cases to no avail.

Head coach Doc Rivers didn’t hold back on the referees after the game.

“That was… That was awful,” said Rivers. “It was. They should have overturned it. It’s why I hate the rule. Nobody wants to be wrong, let me just say that. You have to overturn that. Unless Bledsoe fouled Lou with his face, there was no foul, it was a flop. I think there should be more of a chance that Bledsoe gets a letter from the league about flopping than Bledsoe got fouled. That was awful. There should be more of a chance that Bledsoe got a letter from the league for flopping, than it being a foul. I don’t like the rule anyway. I’ve said it up front. Now I like it even less.”

Here’s a replay of the offensive foul call, which was one of the angles the officials also viewed when determining whether to overturn or confirm the call.

The Clippers don’t have much time to dwell on their loss to the Bucks with the Portland Trail Blazers coming to town in less than 24 hours. Kawhi Leonard will be active in that game, but we’ll see what Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell have left in the tank after playing 39 minutes apiece against the Bucks.