David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Looking solely at the free-throw disparity suggests Rivers had a point considering the Clippers attempted a mere eight foul shots while the Rockets attempted 23. James Harden alone shot more from the charity stripe than the entire Los Angeles team with nine free throws.
Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle shared Rivers’ criticism via a tweet: “They shot 41 3s; we shot 18. We doubled them in the amount of points in the paint and it was 24-8 in free throws. That’s a joke. That is a complete joke. Our guys drove and got hit all game. Lou [Williams] got killed and no call. Austin [Rivers] gets hit and no call.”
Harden led the way with 24 points, seven assists and five rebounds as Los Angeles didn’t have the firepower to counter the MVP candidate.
The Clippers find themselves one game behind the San Antonio Spurs for the final spot in the Western Conference playoff picture, so Rivers will likely gladly pay the fine if it leads to officials paying closer attention to his team’s drives and rewarding it with additional free throws in the crunch time of the season.