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Clippers yell at each other in locker room following third straight loss

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry tumbles to the court as he reaches for a loose ball between Clippers forwards Blake Griffin (32) and Wesley Johnson in the second half Sunday.

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry tumbles to the court as he reaches for a loose ball between Clippers forwards Blake Griffin (32) and Wesley Johnson in the second half Sunday.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
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The Clippers players were disappointed, frustrated and upset. They had just dropped their third straight game, and as reporters sat in an interview room waiting for the coach to arrive, screams could be heard coming from the team’s locker room.

No one would reveal exactly what went on behind those closed doors, though J.J. Redick described the scene as “loud noises.”

“That’s for us in our locker room,” Chris Paul said after Sunday’s 91-80 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

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For Clippers Coach Doc Rivers, the outpouring of emotion was ill-timed.

“I’d rather have the explosions during the game,” Rivers said. “After the game is too late.”

The Clippers have lost five of their last seven games, and their record is now below .500. It’s not where they thought they’d be after having nearly made the Western Conference Finals for the first time in their 45-year franchise history in May.

Blake Griffin said the frustration is not only normal, but that it can be productive.

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“Guys yell at each other, guys almost get in fights -- that didn’t happen this year -- but it just happens,” he said. “The better teams I’ve been on, I think the more confrontations and arguments there’s been because guys aren’t afraid to say something.”

Griffin couldn’t pinpoint exactly what is wrong with the team, though he said it may have to do with playing harder or having a greater sense of urgency. Redick said playing harder and executing the game plan are the team’s main issues.

If effort is the issue, Rivers was quick to shoulder the responsibility.

“That’s on me too because I have to figure out a way of getting them to do that,” Rivers said.

Griffin said that Sunday’s fireworks were normal for a team with championship aspirations that’s wallowing in a rut, and he said he hopes it will spark a conversation that could lead to some real change.

“I think we need to do a good job of sitting down, being real and understanding what the real problems are moving forward,” Griffin said.

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