He helped his team finish as the No. 3 seed, closing out the season having won seven games in a row and 14 of their last 15.
On Thursday, he was honored.
The NBA named him Western Conference Coach of the Month for games in April, during which the Clippers went undefeated and averaged 108.6 points a game while holding their opponents to 97.4 points a game, the second-highest differential in the league during this month at 11.2 points a game.
The day before he was honored, however, Rivers was disappointed.
The improbable happened, as the San Antonio Spurs, who entered Wednesday's game having won 11 games in a row, lost to the New Orleans Pelicans, while the Houston Rockets and the Memphis Grizzlies won. That sequence dropped the Clippers to the No. 3 seed and the Spurs to the No. 6 seed.
"It's just life," Rivers said. "Why worry about it? We did what we were supposed to do, we won the games. They won, until the last one, they won the games. I've been saying it all year: You're going to play someone hard, and they tell me we're playing the Spurs.
The Spurs are the defending NBA champions and have won five titles, while the Clippers have never made it past the second round of the playoffs in their 45-year franchise history.
At least Rivers had some good news come his way Thursday.
"I just found out," he said. "I didn't know they had a coach of the month the last month. It's almost silly. I was shocked, No. 1. No. 2, I think they give you this plaque, and I think Brad [Stevens, of the Boston Celtics, who was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month] and I are going to saw it in half. But it's always nice whenever you win anything."