After Austin Rivers and Kevin Garnett had a bit of an exchange in the Clippers' 110-105 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers couldn't help but crack a joke.
"I thought Austin should have punched him, personally," the coach quipped. Doc Rivers coached Garnett in Boston, including on the Celtics' 2008 championship team.
The exchange happened as the teams were walking to their benches after a timeout was called in the fourth quarter with 3 minutes 23 seconds left and the Clippers up, 102-97.
Austin plowed into Garnett, who responded by elbowing Austin, sticking his finger in his face and mouthing off to the young guard. Both players were assessed a technical foul on the play.
After the Clippers' win, Austin intimated that the bump was purposeful.
"I was walking to my bench and he was in my way and I wasn't moving," Austin said.
The Clippers' guard, however, went on to explain that he was frustrated at Garnett because of a play that had happened earlier in the game.
"He elbowed me in my head," said Austin, who had a red welt on his forehead. "And that's not going to fly, really. I have all the respect in the world for him. He's one of the best players to ever play the game, but at the end of the day, I'm a man just like he is, and that's all there is to it."
Austin said that Garnett had been physical with him all game.
"I let it go and then we went and I didn't have the ball and he just hit me in the my stomach and knocked the wind [out of me] and he threw the ball," Austin said. "And I wasn't prepared for it because I had just lost my wind and I threw it back to him. Play went on and just because I bumped him a little bit, he turned around."