James Harden’s triple-double and two ejections equal another loss for Clippers
The already short-handed Clippers lost two more members when Austin Rivers was ejected from the game in the second quarter and when Coach Doc Rivers was tossed from the game a few seconds later in the quarter.
The Clippers lost, 140-116, to the Houston Rockers on Friday night at the Toyota Center with both Rivers sitting in the locker room, with Chris Paul out (left hamstring) and with J.J. Redick playing after sitting out the last two games because of a sore left hamstring.
Houston’s James Harden had 30 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his seventh triple-double of the season.
Raymond Felton, who had a season-high 26 points after taking over for Austin, did his best to ignite the Clippers.
But his 18 third-quarter points couldn’t stop the Clippers from extending their season-high losing streak to five straight games, from giving up a season high in points and from the 24-point losing deficit being a season high.
Austin Rivers was thrown out Friday night by referee J.T. Orr with 6 minutes 37 seconds left in the second quarter. Rivers grew upset and had to be restrained when he tried to go after Orr. Rivers eventually was escorted to the locker room.
Replays showed Rivers backpedaled after he missed a layup and shoved Orr with an elbow.
“I reacted to the play,” Rivers said. “I had no idea the ref was there. I was backing up and I said, ‘Call the foul!’ When I did it, I was turning and he was right there and my elbow touched him. I’ve never in my career put my hands on a ref and I don’t never plan to.”
Referee crew chief Jason Phillips explained why Orr ejected Rivers.
“Austin drives to the basket and feels that he gets fouled on the play and then after finishing the play makes contact while using profanity — makes contact with official Orr and is ejected immediately on one technical foul,” Phillips said.
Doc Rivers was thrown out by Phillips with 6:13 left in the second quarter during a timeout.
Doc Rivers said his complaint to the referees was that a foul had been called after Marreese Speights had scored on a rebound of Austin Rivers’ shot while the Austin situation was taking place. Doc said he wanted to get a free throw for Speights and got ejected instead.
“So I called a timeout and said, ‘Hey, you forgot to give us a free throw,’ and they didn’t know what we were talking about,” said Doc, who has been ejected three times this season. “I said, ‘No, you forgot to give us a free throw and you guys didn’t know what you were doing.’… Anyway, I can’t get thrown out of games even though I didn’t know I was getting thrown out.”
Said Phillips of Doc Rivers’ ejection: “During the timeout Doc is complaining about the play that Austin gets ejected on and during that complaining he uses extreme profanity directed at the officials and so therefore he’s ejected on one technical foul also.”
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