Rivers, Kerr trade barbs before game

March 31, 2015, 11:31 PM

— -- Just because Doc Rivers and Steve Kerr are two of the newest arrivals in the Clippers- Warriors rivalry, it doesn't mean they can't sling barbs as well as the more established veterans.

The latest bit of verbal jousting came before the Clippers fell to the Warriors 110-106 on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Rivers, the second-year coach of the Clippers, said he could understand why Draymond Green, who has inflammation in his shins, wasn't playing in the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two teams.

"That was pretty predictable; they didn't want to take the risk of going 2-2 [in the season series] with their regular guys," Rivers said. "You could pretty much predict they weren't going to play everybody."

"Oh, is that right?" Kerr, in his first year as Warriors coach, said with a chuckle when Rivers' quote was relayed to him. "Either that or we have a nine-game lead and a couple guys banged up. Somewhere in there."

Kerr actually sold his team short. The Warriors entered the night with a 10-game advantage over the Memphis Grizzlies for the best record in the Western Conference, in addition to riding Tuesday's win to open up a 12½ game lead over the Clippers in the Pacific Division.

The rivalry extended to the fan bases Tuesday night, with Warriors fans making Staples Center sound more like Oracle Arena. They loudly cheered every made basket by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and chanted "M-V-P" when Curry was at the free throw line, causing several Clippers players to look up into the stands and shake their heads.

" Home-court advantage is just not there for us," Blake Griffin said after the game. "If that's how it feels in the playoffs, it's not looking good."

There's a history of hard fouls and sideline antics between the Clippers and Warriors over the past four seasons, with a hard-fought, seven-game playoff series last year thrown in. The most recent tiff started when the Clippers' Dahntay Jones brushed by Green during an on-court postgame interview. That drew an icy stare from Green, a $10,000 fine from the NBA for Jones and this observation from Rivers: "I guess that tough guy in Golden State, the bump was too hard for him, clearly, the way he reacted. My goodness. I thought the guy was tough."

Green resorted to using Rivers' given first name in his reply, saying: "Cool story, Glenn."