The bad blood between these two teams is no longer restricted to the basketball court.
Police were called to diffuse the situation after several Rockets players stormed the Clippers locker room to confront Blake Griffin and Austin Rivers, according to multiple reports.
James Harden, Chris Paul Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green entered the Clippers locker room through a back door. While there was “a lot of barking” between players of both teams, security escorted the three Rockets players out before anything turned physical.
As several Rockets players marched through the back hallway into the Clippers locker room, center Clint Capela tried to enter through the front entrance. However, after he knocked on the front door, someone saw him standing there and slammed the door shut on him, according to ESPN.
Trevor Ariza is restrained by an assistant coach before his ejection.
(Harry How/Getty Images)
Griffin appeared to be the main instigator throughout the night, angering many of the Rockets players and coach Mike D’Antoni due to his actions on the court Monday night, ultimately resulting in his ejection.
Griffin first drew the ire of Rockets players after he spiked the basketball dodgeball-style at Eric Gordon while falling out of bounds. While it’s not unusual for players to throw the ball at an opposing player in order to gain possession, Griffin threw the ball and nearly hit Gordon in the head.
Blake Griffin gets into it with Chris Paul.
(Mark J. Terrill/AP)
Gordon wasn’t the only one to butt heads with Griffin. The All-Star forward also clashed with ex-Clippers teammate Chris Paul late in the fourth quarter. The two were jawing for most of the game but needed to be separated by Ariza after getting into each other’s faces with just under four minutes left in the game.
Prior to Griffin’s exchange with Paul, Griffin and D’Antoni traded barbs, resulting in a technical being called on both. D’Antoni was caught on video yelling “F–k you!” as Griffin walked away.
The Rockets coach later told reporters Griffin “hit him” before the exchange, but did not elaborate.
Griffin was eventually ejected after getting into it with Ariza with a minute left in the game. Ariza was also tossed.
Rivers, who is out with a strained right Achilles tendon, was seen trash-talking Ariza and other players throughout the game.
Griffin said he and the Clippers didn’t cause the altercation with Harden, Ariza and Green.
“We were where we were supposed to be after the game… You have to ask them,” he told reporters after the situation was diffused, per ESPN.
Fellow Clippers guard Patrick Beverley shared his thoughts on the altercation, calling out the Rockets’ toughness on Twitter.
“It’s a different culture in LA. No more soft s–t here!!!!!” Beverley tweeted.
It’s unclear how the NBA will discipline the players involved.