Why Do Rockets and Clippers Hate Each Other So Much? LAPD Broke Up Wild Staples Center Brawl

Chris Paul’s return to Staples Center with the Houston Rockets was never going to be anything less than a chippy, boisterous affair.

Still, no one could have expected Monday night’s game to be this chippy or this boisterous.

The score—113-102 to the Clippers—had almost been forgotten by the time the smoke from the rubble had lifted above downtown Los Angeles, lost amid reports of locker-room raids, espionage and, oh, the intervention of the LAPD.

The trouble really began with three-and-a-half minutes left in the game, NBA.com reported in an admirably calm rendition of the apparent chaos. “[Blake] Griffin scored under the basket and Paul was called for a foul. Paul ran over to the referees in disbelief, while Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni appeared to unleash a stream of expletives in Griffin's direction.”

Griffin and D’Antoni both received technical fouls; a little over two minutes later the Clippers’ star forward smacked the ball off the back of Rockets guard Eric Gordon in an attempt to keep possession for his team. Griffin and Trevor Ariza exchanged unpleasantries, before both were ejected from the game.

It was after the game ended that things got really weird and heated. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Ariza, James Harden and Gerald Green “pushed into” the Clippers’ locker room seeking out Austin Rivers, the Clippers guard and son of head coach Doc Rivers. “Security escorted Rockets out before anything turned physical.” Wojnarowski wrote.

Jonathan Feigen, the Rockets beat writer, reported that Harden, Ariza, Green and Paul had attempted to gain access to the Clippers’ locker room by using a back passageway.

Ashley Brewer of ABC Los Angeles reported that Paul had in fact “stayed out” of the confrontation, but that the LAPD was required in the Clippers’ locker room to break up the melee. “ Now hearing Chris Paul stayed out of it, 3 Rockets players were going after Austin Rivers.” Brewer tweeted.

Some time earlier in the evening, there was a basketball game that no one can remember the details of.

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