The Rockets-Clippers rivalry is looking delicious, as some of the NBA’s most prickly and talented players have lined up on both sides. Wednesday night’s 102-93 Rockets win featured 47 points from James Harden and some excellent shit-talking from Russell Westbrook.

None of that matters right now. What matters is that Rockets guard Austin Rivers stood behind referees signaling for a technical foul as his father, Clippers coach Doc Rivers, had a meltdown and was ejected.


Doc Rivers was screaming at notoriously incompetent ref Tony Brothers for giving him inconsistent information about timeouts after a botched challenge.

“The refs screwed up,” Doc said. “They actually said I was right in the challenge, but that I took over the 30-second time to call it. Two refs came over to me and explained that you don’t win the challenge, but you get your timeout back. The arena put the extra timeout on the board."

So the Clips’ coach thought he had two timeouts remaining a couple minutes later when he called one, but Brothers came over and told him that was his last one.

“When you make a mistake like that, you can’t then throw the coach out,” Doc said. Brothers admitted after the game that Rivers was right, telling reporters that “After it was determined the Clippers could not challenge the play, they were incorrectly informed they would retain their timeout.”

The son knew the tell-tale signs of his father about to lose it.

“I knew it was coming. I could see it. I’ve seen that look before, many times,” Austin told reporters. “Once he starts blinking his eyes fast, and he starts [imitates his dad blinking really fast], that’s when I know he is about to level up. So I just started telling Tony to get him. They got him. He’s out of here.”

The son can be as smarmy as the father.

“I was just trying to help out the situation... I don’t really like to escalate anything. I’ve always been a peacemaker, that’s just 100% Doc’s gotta keep his cool.”

Austin gleefully mocking his dad is rich, considering the widespread perception that his entire career can be attributed to being the coach’s kid. While Austin claimed in 2016 that “He doesn’t really share his life outside of basketball with me... He and I don’t know each other like that. We know each other as strictly basketball,” Doc traded for him and possibly alienated Clippers teammates with his favorable treatment of Austin.

The Rockets and Clippers play again in eight days.

“I doubt we’ll go to dinner," Austin said. "He actually is sensitive to stuff like that. It was a really good moment, though, I enjoyed it a lot.”

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