"I think we'll have good memories of being together as a group but ultimately just disappointment," guard
The Clippers gave up an early 16-point lead and were outscored by 14 in the second half.
Now the team enters the off-season, armed with the 28th and 58th picks in June's
Most of the team's core is under contract, although
"We'll be back next year, but it was tough for us to end the season like this at home, but [we've] got a lot of work to do," said center
Of course, the
The issue dogged the franchise throughout the playoffs.
"Clippers, definitely you got to take your hat off to them, what happened to them the last few weeks, to continue on fighting," said Thunder all-star
"It's tough. It's tough," he said. "You don't get a chance to be on teams like this that often, you know. Oklahoma City absolutely deserves it."
Ending in Game 6 of the second round, the Clippers finished their second-deepest playoff run in franchise history. The 2006 squad advanced to Game 7, falling to the
"I don't know anybody in our league that plays for ... the Western Conference finals," Paul said. "That's not enough."
"I told them we're going to have our day," Rivers said. "This is not the end; this is the beginning for us."
Despite the uncertainty surrounding ownership of the team, Rivers said is optimistic for its future.
"I thought during this playoff series, we started figuring out exactly ... what Clipper basketball is and will be," he said. "I just kept thinking, 'Man, if we can get through a couple more games, we're there.' You can feel it, and time ran out. That's the tough part."
Oklahoma City now moves on to play the