Doc Rivers: Officials 'robbed' Clips


OKLAHOMA CITY --  Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said his team was "robbed" by the officials in a 105-104 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.

Rivers was furious during and after the game that, following a replay review, officials awarded the ball to Oklahoma City with 11.3 seconds left and the Clippers up 104-102. On the play, it appeared as if the ball went out of bounds off Thunder guard  Reggie Jackson's right hand after Clippers forward Matt Barnes hit Jackson's left hand as he went up for a layup following a turnover by  Chris Paul.

With no foul called on the floor, the officials could review only who touched the ball last. It seemed clear to Rivers and the Clippers that the ball went off Jackson.

"It was our ball," Rivers said. "Everybody knows it was our ball. I think the bottom line is they thought it was a foul and they made up for it. Then, in my opinion, let's take away replay. Let's take away the replay system because that's our ball, we win the game and we got robbed because of that call. It's clear.

"Everyone in the arena saw it. That's why everybody was shocked when they said 'Oklahoma City.' That was our ball whether it was a foul or not, and it was, but they didn't call it."

Rivers and Clippers players continued to complain about the call as the Thunder inbounded the ball, and they had even more to complain about five seconds later when Paul was called for fouling  Russell Westbrook on a 3-point attempt.

Westbrook hit all three free throws, and the Thunder went on to win after Paul turned the ball over again on the final possession.

"Now, we made our own mistakes," Rivers said. "We turned the ball over, we fouled on a 3-pointer, we did a lot of stuff to lose the game ourselves. But at the end of the day, we have a replay system that you're supposed to look at, and I don't want to hear that they didn't have that replay. That's a bunch of crap. That's what I heard. That's a bunch of crap, and you all know it."

Rivers said Wednesday the Clippers have not filed a protest with the league.

Referee Tony Brothers told a pool reporter after the game that the replays were inconclusive, resulting in Oklahoma City retaining the ball, which was the call on the court.

"When the ball goes out of bounds, the ball was awarded to Oklahoma City," Brothers said. "We go review the play. We saw two replays. The two replays we saw were from the overhead camera showing down, and the one from under the basket showing the same angle but from a different view. And from those two replays, it was inconclusive as to who the ball went out of bounds off of. When it's inconclusive, we have to go with the call that was on the floor."

Barnes was certain the ball went off Jackson, saying after the game, "There's no question. I'm willing to [bet] my kids on it. That ball went off him."

Afterward, Paul was still upset with the call and the final 45 seconds of the game, calling it "the toughest thing I've been through basketball-wise."

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