Basketball / Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul (3) slips a pass through Oklahoma City Thunder defenders to teammater Blake Griffin early in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday, May 15, 2014. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Clippers hurt by fouls and missed throws

LOS ANGELES -- DeAndre Jordan didn't score his first basket until the 1:54 mark of the second quarter, an awkward dunk that gave the Clippers a 14-point lead.

Jordan didn't make his second basket until the third quarter of Thursday's Game 6 on a short jumper with 8:05 left.

Yet it wasn't Jordan's single-digit points (nine), missed free throws or 15 rebounds that Doc Rivers was watching. The Clippers' coach was keeping his eyes on the center's number of fouls. If the 6-foot-11 post player could stay out of foul trouble, the Clippers had a shot at sending the series to a decisive Game 7.

Jordan had fouled out of Game 5, adding to the Clippers' struggles in a deflating loss to Oklahoma City in their Western Conference semifinal series. The Clippers as a team had collected 28 fouls to the Thunder's 21.

"I just think it was one of those bad luck games for him," Rivers said of Game 5. "He was in the wrong spot every time the whistle was blown. That hurt us."

Jordan picked up his third foul early in the third quarter Thursday, but managed to stay out of trouble the rest of the game, but in the end it didn't matter. The Clippers lost to Oklahoma City, 104-98.

While Jordan stayed in the clear until late in the game, Blake Griffin picked up his fourth foul in the paint with 8:34 left and his fifth on an offensive charge that set off the sellout crowd.

Fans vigorously booed the referees and one fan tossed a cup of liquid at referee Ed Malloy before being kicked out, holding up the game for several minutes to mop the court.

Moments later, Griffin fouled out with the Clippers staring at an 11-point deficit with 2:27 remaining and the Clippers' season nearing the end.

RIVERS FINED AGAIN

Rivers didn't have any idea how much he has paid to the league for the fines accrued in his career but he had an inkling who might know.

"Kris Rivers. She knows exactly, I can guarantee that," Rivers said of his wife.

No need to check the Rivers' checkbook. A quick check with the NBA office shows that Rivers has amassed $197,500 as a player and coach through 27-plus years.

Rivers added to his career total Thursday when he was hit with a $25,000 fine for his postgame rant about the officials after the Clippers' Game 5 loss to Oklahoma City.

"It needed to be said and it was the truth," Rivers said before Thursday's game. "It was a call that should have gone our way."

After Game 5, Rivers said the Clippers were "robbed" of a victory after a call went in favor of the Thunder with 11.3 seconds left.

"It was needed," Matt Barnes said about Rivers' expensive outburst. "I think it was needed. He's done a great job all year of being the shield for this team with all the unfortunate stuff that has come up of late since the playoffs started."

(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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CLIPPERS


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