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Clippers coach Doc Rivers fined $15,000 by NBA for criticizing officials

Clippers coach Doc Rivers was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Friday for public criticism of the officials following L.A.’s 101-96 loss to the Houston Rockets Thursday night, the league announced.

Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations who doled out the financial penalty, took exception to hearing Rivers saying the officiating was “a complete joke.”

The two talked on Friday when the Clippers got Oklahoma City for their game against the Thunder.

“I didn’t talk long,” Rivers said about his conversation with VanDeWeghe. “It wasn’t a hard conversation. I basically said I was right. And then I said we can give the money to anti-gun legislation. Thank you.”

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Rivers was able to laugh with the media Friday about his fine, but he wasn’t so happy Thursday night.

“No, it wasn’t a big deal, honestly, for me,” Rivers said. “I didn’t mind. I thought what needed to be said was said. I had no problem with it.”

Rivers ripped into the referees because his team shot only eight free throws despite driving to the basket all game long compared to the Rockets’ shot 23 free throws while attempting 41 three-pointers.

“Let me say this, they shot 41 threes, right? We shot 18. We doubled them in the amount of points in the paint and it was (23-8) in free throws. That’s a joke. That is a complete joke,” Rivers said Thursday night. “I thought our guys drove and got hit all game. Got hit all game. Lou (Williams) down the stretch got killed on a play, no call. Austin (Rivers) gets hit, no call. DJ (DeAndre Jordan) gets fouled over the back.

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“I haven’t done that all year. Our guys played their hearts out. But for them to shoot that many more free throws than us and we’re the team attacking and not shooting threes, it just doesn’t make basketball sense to me.”

Etc.

The Clippers shot 42.3% from three-point range, making 11 of 26 shots. Tobias Harris and Austin Rivers both were four for eight from three-point range. Milos Teodosic was three for four.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner


UPDATES:

8:40 p.m.: This article has been updated with quotes and more details about the fine.

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This article was originally published at 3:30 p.m.


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