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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Doc Rivers has been a part of the NBA for 33 years as a player and coach. He thought he had seen everything until Friday night.
The Los Angeles Clippers coach and Chicago's Jim Boylen were both ejected during the third quarter at Staples Center for arguing. It is something so rare that the NBA and Elias Sports Bureau could not recall or track the last time it has happened.
"I've been around a while and I needed something new," Rivers said after the Clippers' 128-121 victory.
The Clippers led 91-76 with 1:10 remaining in the period when Boylen thought that Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell was too aggressive on an offensive foul and started yelling across the other side of the court at Rivers and the officials.
Both started arguing near their respective benches when official Jason Phillips assessed the first technical. Boylen and Rivers continued to argue, which caused Phillips to assess the second technical and an automatic ejection.
"After receiving the first technical foul, they continued a verbal exchange between both of the coaches, and therefore received a second technical foul for the continuation, and then were automatically ejected with two technical fouls each," Phillips said in a pool report. "The first one was for the arguing, and we told (the coaches) that was enough, and then they continued."
Boylen was angry because he thought the Clippers were getting away with moving screens. He said one was not called in the first half as Chicago guard Ryan Arcidiacono was hit in the jaw and did not return to the game.
"I spoke with the officials before the half and told them to watch the moving screen," Boylen said. "They came back at half and said they missed it and I let it go and they set another moving screen at halfcourt on another of my point guards. I didn't appreciate it and I let everyone know."
Rivers said he had no idea why he was ejected for the second time this year, especially since he said he wasn't the one who instigated the argument.
"I was talking to the referee, and basically said, 'That was a clean pick'. Then all of the sudden, I hear Boylen yelling at me, saying that we were dirty or whatever, because I guess in the first half we set another legal pick and one of their guys got hurt," Rivers said. "I wanted to say maybe turn around and yell at your guys and tell them to call out picks, but don't yell at me. I didn't say it that nicely, and then the referee just came and threw us both out.
"I think Jason did the double tech. He didn't want to decide who was the instigator and took the easy way out. I don't think one coach should make comments to another team."
After both coaches were ejected, Pete Meyers took over for the Bulls and Rex Kalamian for the Clippers.
"I have no issue with Doc. He's fighting for his team and I'm fighting for my team," Boylen said.
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