While tension and frustration boiled over on multiple occasions Monday night during a 113-102 win for the Los Angeles Clippers over the Houston Rockets, it paled in comparison to what allegedly occurred in the underground hallways of Staples Center.
The matchup on Martin Luther King Jr. Day marked the first for Chris Paul against his former team since he joined the Rockets during the offseason. Paul did not play in the meeting last December due to injury.
The Clippers welcomed their former point guard with a video montage to thank him for his time with the franchise. But there otherwise was little love lost, particularly with Blake Griffin.
Paul and Griffin tussled on multiple occasions, and so too did Trevor Ariza with Griffin, Austin Rivers and others. Ariza and Griffin received double technical fouls with just over one minute remaining, resulting in an ejection for Griffin.
Shortly after the game went final, several reports indicated there was an incident in which Ariza, James Harden and Paul attempted to breach the Clippers locker room through a backdoor.
That Paul would be at the center of a scuffle provided great fodder for the Inside the NBA crew, specifically Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, via the show’s Twitter account:
Can't we just hug it out, y'all?
Chuck and Shaq couldn't believe it when they heard about last night's reported locker room altercation following the Rockets and Clippers game ????????????. pic.twitter.com/Tv59QxyHCX
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 16, 2018
It’s believed Griffin and Rivers were the targets for the Rockets trio. Security and the Los Angeles Police Department managed to get the situation under control without any incident.
The NBA is expected to investigate the situation and could render penalties in the coming days.
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