Doc Rivers says referees got it right
SAN FRANCISCO -- One day after the Los Angeles Clippers held on for a 98-96 win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of their first-round series, Doc Rivers said the referees got the final non-call right, saying Chris Paul did not foul Stephen Curry on his potential game-winning 3-point attempt.
"Oh yeah, I didn't think it was a foul then and I don't think it's a foul after watching it," said Rivers, who along with Paul spoke to media at their downtown hotel. "You're allowed to do that. Steph's good at selling it, but it wasn't a foul."
Rivers, who is on the NBA's Competition Committee, said there has been some discussion about reviewing fouls at the end of games but such a change would only prolong games that are already getting longer during the postseason.
"We talked about that last year, but can we go home at some point?" Rivers said. "It's a hard one it really is. We all want them to get everything right but how far does that go? Did he step on the line? Well, maybe he fouled him. Well, there was a travel down there. Is it on the ball, is it off the ball? It could go a long way. Right now, we're looking at one play and it takes five minutes. If you start doing that it may take forever."
Rivers spoke hours after commissioner Adam Silver addressed the future of instant replay in the NBA to a group at an Associated Press Sports Editors meeting.
Silver said the league will "inevitably" reach a point where they can do more to assist officials in getting calls correct.
For Rivers' part, he said he didn't have the answer.
"We all want them to get it right," Rivers said. "I think the refs are trying to get everything right. I think it's the most difficult game to officiate. It's a human game and there's going to be human error."
Rivers pointed to the fact the league issued a statement after Game 1 acknowledging the officials missed a foul on Paul at the end of the game on a play in which Paul lost the ball out of bounds with the Clippers down two. The league said Paul should have been awarded two free throws. Instead, the ball was given to Golden State.
"Just like the last play of the game in L.A. when the league came back and said there was a foul. My first thought was we made more mistakes than them," Rivers said. "We put them in that position to have a chance to do something. At the end of the day it's our play."
Paul, who played through an injured right hamstring and 100-degree fever on Thursday, said he was still not 100 percent but would start Game 4 on Sunday.
"Luckily there's no back-to-backs," Paul said. "I'll be ready by Sunday."
"We need it," Rivers said of the two-day break in between games. "The way it's turned out it's a good break for us. It's really just Chris, Matt and Jamal. Everybody else is good."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.