The Clippers were on the verge of reaching the Western Conference Finals for the first time in their 45-year existence after jumping to a 3-1 series lead over the Rockets -- they then lost three games in a row, allowing the Rockets to become just the ninth team in NBA history to recover from that type of a deficit.
Here's what Rivers said to the Clippers:
"I told them I was a player for 13 years, and I had my heart broken for 13 straight years. I told them every night I prayed, every single night my only goal was to win a world championship.
"Every year I'd give my heart completely to the team, and every year it got completely broken. I told them it was worth it. I told them it's so worth it to buy in and give yourself to a team, and this is part of sports, only one winner. If we didn't win this round or the next, it wouldn't have mattered.
"But it's worth giving yourself to the team. It's worth getting your heart broken and taking all the criticism. It should excite you. It does to me. I told them that.
"I'm broken up right now, but in my mind, I'm already thinking about next year. You just have to get back on. That's going to be us, and that's what we're going to do."
After their stunning exit from the playoffs, the Clippers' players were broken. Here's what they had to say:
Chris Paul: "So close. I don’t even know what that means anymore... Getting close ain’t good enough."
DeAndre Jordan: "It was devastating. It's really disappointing...I can't put it into words right now."
Blake Griffin: "Almost doesn't count."
J.J. Redick: "You never want to equate sports with death, but it does feel like a wake or a funeral."
Jamal Crawford: "Right now it feels like a blur. It feels like a bad dream."
Matt Barnes: "To be up 3-1 and to lose three straight, for some of us, time is running out so its tough."