The narrative entering Monday’s game between the Houston Rockets and the L.A. Clippers was mostly about Chris Paul’s anticipated first game back at Staples Center since being traded by the Clippers to Houston. That story probably is now buried beneath the controversial way the game concluded.
As reported earlier, a few Rockets players charged towards the Clippers’ locker room following the game looking for Clippers guard Austin Rivers. While no physical altercations were reported and that the situation was easily extinguished with the help from the stadium’s security personnel and the Los Angeles Police Department, it remained a topic for the media to pick on during the postgame press conference.
Speaking to reporters, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers tried to play down the incident by joking that his team, unlike Houston, was paying homage to civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. by being amicable individuals on the court per Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints.
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) January 16, 2018
The game was far from friendly, however, especially with how things transpired late in the game when both Blake Griffin and Trevor Ariza had to be ejected after exchanging words with each other.
All told, the Doc Rivers and the Clippers won the game 113-102. Lou Williams led the Clippers with 31 points, while Griffin chipped in 29 markers. The Clippers' bench also outscored their Houston counterparts, 27-21.
It was the Clippers' fifth-straight victory, and they will be looking to sustain their streak this Wednesday at home against the visiting Denver Nuggets.
With the win over Houston, the Clippers moved a game over .500 (22-21) and climbed back into the playoff picture.