Wednesday 17th October 2018,
Balltribe

James Harden, Trevor Ariza Went Into Clippers Locker Room Looking for Austin Rivers After Rockets Loss to LA

James Harden, Trevor Ariza Went Into Clippers Locker Room Looking for Austin Rivers After Rockets Loss to LA

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Things turned chippy between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers’ during their Monday night contest—and they apparently devolved even further after the final buzzer.

On the heels of the Clippers’ victory, James Harden (who did not play), Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green went into Los Angeles’ locker room looking for Austin Rivers (who also didn’t play), according to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

Oh, and as it turns out, Chris Paul joined in on the hunt, too:

Although it isn’t immediately clear what incited the Rockets’ postgame search party, it doesn’t take a genius to come up with motive. The game was contentious through and through, particularly during the second half. It marked Chris Pauls’ first return to Staples Center since being traded to Houston, and everyone was on edge.

Ariza and Blake Griffin, in fact, were ejected shortly after the former tore the latter’s leggings, and after Griffin threw the ball off Eric Gordon:

The game also included a small dustup between Griffin and Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni:

So, what does Austin Rivers have to do with all of this? Well, he and Patrick Beverley (also injured) led hyperbolic celebrations from the sidelines all games. Just look at the Clippers’ bench reacting to Montrezl Harrell locking down Ariza here:

Yep, that’ll do it.

Look, we probably shouldn’t make too much of this. Shit happens in the NBA, and these were special circumstances. Not only did Paul previously play for the Clippers, but three of Los Angeles’ players who took the floor Monday—Harrell, Sam Dekker and Lou Williams—came over in the CP3 trade. Factor in all the stuff that has leaked out about Paul, Griffin and Doc Rivers after the fact, and this game always figured to carry a stronger-than-usual emotional tinge.

That doesn’t make this a legitimate rivalry. Then again, Paul using a secret passageway to ambush the Clippers in their own locker isn’t nothing either. So, screw it.

These two teams meet again on Feb. 28, once more at Staples Center. Circle the date on your calendar.

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