Rockets vs. Clippers recap: Rockets fought to the end…literally

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images /

In a game that didn’t go the Rockets’ way, tempers flared during and after the contest.

The Houston Rockets (30-12) lost to the LA Clippers (22-21) for the second time in as many games. LA won their fifth straight game and are now over .500 and in the 7th seed.

The Rockets drop to 4-3 without James Harden. His presence was missed on offense tonight as the team scored just 102 points on 40% shooting (29.5% from deep).

The real show, however, began as tempers flared. Let’s look at the stats first, then get into the postgame excitement:

Key Stats

Chris Paul: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, in his Staples Center return

Eric Gordon: 19 points

Trevor Ariza: 17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals

Luc Mbah a Moute came back from injury to put up 5 points and 3 steals.

What happened?

A whole lot of craziness happened during the game and after it was over. The game was chippy for most of it and included Blake Griffin and Trevor Ariza getting ejected after BG and Coach D’Antoni shared words (and hits, apparently).

D'Antoni let out all kinds of can't repeat words to Blake Griffin. Griffin had been yelling about D'Antoni about roaming from the coaching box. Rare double-T on a coach and player.

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) January 16, 2018

D'Antoni said Griffin hit him before their exchange. Did not elaborate.

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) January 16, 2018

Blake Griffin also pulled this stunt during the game:

Blake Griffin with the dodgeball spike on Eric Gordon

— gifdsports (@gifdsports) January 16, 2018

Finally, after the game, a number of Rockets players were quite upset, to say the least. In fact, James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Chris Paul, Gerald Green and possibly Clint Capela all went to the Clippers’ locker room:

Houston Rockets’ players James Harden, Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green pushed into Clippers locker room post-game looking to confront Austin Rivers, league sources tell ESPN. Security escorted Rockets out before anything turned physical.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 16, 2018

Rockets players were clamoring for Blake Griffin too, league sources said. Chris Paul also entered with other Rockers players through a backstory that connects team dressing rooms.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 16, 2018

Sources: As the four Rockets marched through the back hallway into the Clippers locker room, center Clint Capela knocked on the front door of Clippers entrance. Someone opened door, saw him standing there — and shut it on him.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 16, 2018

Pretty wild, right? There will surely be fines or worse that come in the aftermath of it all.

Postgame press conferences

There was some shade at the postgame press conference, of course. Let’s start with the mild-mannered Eric Gordon:

Eric Gordon: "They were talking crazy throughout the game. Yeah, they were playing well. We just didn’t like how it ended. Blake Griffin, he’s talking crazy. All those guys were talking big. Things happen. We’re going to remember it, though."

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) January 16, 2018

Chris Paul refused to mention Blake Griffin and even went as far as to call Lou Williams their main guy:

Chris Paul says the Clippers should play through their 'go-to guy' Lou Williams.

— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) January 16, 2018

No love for his former All-Star teammate. CP3 is all in on H-Town, now.

Here is what MDA had to say:

Mike D’Antoni said Blake Griffin hit him right before each got in each others faces and were issued technicals. #Rockets  #ItTakesEverything

— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) January 16, 2018

More seems to be adding to this situation by the minute, so we’ll have to see what happens.

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Next: Briante Weber released, Markel Brown signed