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LOS ANGELES — Clippers coach Doc Rivers became the latest in a long line of players and coaches to voice his displeasure with the referees this season after a 126-118 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

After watching his team rack up four technical fouls in the fourth quarter, which included the ejections of Rivers and assistant coach Mike Woodson, the head coach sounded off in frustration.

“Listen, we don’t want to get fourth-quarter techs,” Rivers said. “My tech, by that time, the game was over. I literally got thrown out of the game for saying, ‘You guys gave us some tough calls tonight.’ That was it. No swear words. Nothing. And the point I make all the time, if I earn a tech, I’m fine with it, but just like players can lose their composure, officials can lose their composure, as well.”

What drew the Clippers’ ire was the discrepancy in free throws. The Timberwolves shot 39 free throws, including 16-of-17 in a career-high performance from point guard Jeff Teague, while the Clippers went to the line just 22 times.

EDITOR’S PICKS
Wiggins carries Timberwolves to 126-118 win over Clippers
Andrew Wiggins scored a season-high 40 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves hung on to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 126-118 on Monday night, snapping their four-game road skid.

Doc, Thibs want All-Star Game draft televised
LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau believe the NBA should expand its All-Star rosters to 15 players on each side and would like to see the All-Star Game draft televised.
“Mainly, up until the very end of the game, Teague had more free throws than our entire team,” Rivers said. “I thought we were driving and just as physical as them. It’s rare when you’re the home team and the free throws are 39-22. And a lot of their fouls came down the stretch, when the game was over; it wasn’t even as close as that.”

Clippers big man Blake Griffin was whistled for a technical foul with 4:50 left in regulation, with his team hanging onto a two-point lead. It shifted some momentum back toward the Timberwolves and upset Rivers and his staff.

“Whether it was or wasn’t, I can’t be the one to get a tech there in the fourth quarter,” Griffin said. “That put us in a hole and kind of started the whole onslaught, for lack of a better word, of technicals we got throughout the last four or five minutes, whatever it was. So I got to be better. But there’s a reason why there’s so much disparity and so much back and forth and so much tension right now [between players and officials].”

Clippers assistant coach Sam Cassell got another technical foul a few minutes later, before Rivers and Woodson were kicked out of the game right before its conclusion.

“Sam got a tech for saying, ‘Three seconds,’” Rivers said. “Blake got a tech for saying, ‘Over my back.’ One ref told me I couldn’t talk. I thought I was the head coach. As long as I’m respectful, I can say whatever I want. That’s not why we lost the game.

“Why we lost the game is because the rebounding, the offensive rebounding; they destroyed us. And they got to the free throw line. It’s rare where you lose a game and you shoot 56 percent, and we lost that game. So I thought overall our guys played extremely hard. We made a lot of defensive mistakes that we can get better in, but overall, I liked the spirit of our team, I liked how we played. I just didn’t like the results.”

Clippers sharpshooter Lou Williams echoed similar sentiments regarding the officiating.

“Not a great officiated game, but it happens,” Williams said. “It happens in the NBA every once in a while. I just thought they were the more aggressive team, played harder down the stretch, got some calls that went their way. That kind of shifted the momentum of the game; it happens.”
This was Rivers’ first ejection of the season but the 16th of his career, according to ESPN Stats and Information data.

“It is what it is,” Rivers said of the officiating. “I don’t have any control over that. With our guys, what I always tell them is to keep our composure. No fourth-quarter techs. I honestly — I heard what Blake and Sam said. I guess you can give a guy a tech for anything. I didn’t think either one of them really earned it. But you still can’t get ‘em.”

Williams didn’t want to comment further when pressed on the outcome.

“It happens,” he said. “I’m not donating my money to the NBA tonight.”

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After missing the first three games of the 2017-18 regular season following the death of his grandmother, Charlotte Hornets starting small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has returned to the team.

Rumor CentralAccording to The Charlotte Observer, Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said there’s a “good chance” Kidd-Gilchrist will play Wednesday when Charlotte takes on the Denver Nuggets.

After playing in just seven games during the 2015-16 season, Kidd-Gilchrist made 81 appearances (all starts) in 2016-17 and averaged 9.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

With Kidd-Gilchrist’s return to the lineup, Clifford will move rookie Dwayne Bacon back to the bench.

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MIAMI — The Miami Heat Charitable Fund, Carnival Corporation and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation said Thursday they are giving up to $10 million in Hurricane Irma relief efforts across Florida and the Caribbean.

The pledge starts with an immediate $2.5 million donation by the Arison family to Direct Relief, UNICEF and the United Way of Miami-Dade County. Carnival Foundation and the Heat Charitable Fund are each pledging to raise a combined $5 million, and the Arison Foundation will match those efforts up to $5 million in total.

Micky Arison is the Heat managing general partner and Carnival’s chairman.

Miami Heat owner Micky Arison is spearheading a $10 million donation for Hurricane Irma relief. David Santiago/Getty Images
“As a long-time resident of South Florida, I have witnessed the resiliency of our communities; watching neighbors come together to overcome adversity,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a news release. “The South Florida community has supported our organization throughout the years, so it is only fitting that we are there to support and help uplift this community in its time of need.”

At least 26 people in Florida have died under Irma-related circumstances, and six more in South Carolina and Georgia, many of them well after the storm passed. The death toll across the Caribbean stood at 38.

Carnival is deploying 11 ships to provide affected ports in the Caribbean with supplies like food, water, clothing, diapers, medical supplies and generators, among others. Those missions are coinciding with scheduled and ongoing cruise itineraries.

“Our friends and partners from across Florida and the Caribbean have always displayed remarkable resilience, strength and spirit when facing difficult circumstances,” Carnival CEO Arnold Donald said in the news release. “They have come back strong in the past, and we will be standing with them as they work to come back strong once again.”

The Heat are also teaming up with the Golden State Warriors for more Irma relief.

The Heat will help move about 150 dogs and cats from Miami-area shelters — which have been overflowing since the storm — to Oakland, California, on Friday. A FedEx plane with $11 million in relief items for Irma victims arrives Friday in Miami.

Once the plane’s medical supplies, hygiene kits and relief supplies are unloaded, the pets will board and depart for the Oakland-area shelters. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and captain Udonis Haslem will help load the plane in Miami. Warriors players Zaza Pachulia and Jordan Bell, along with assistant coach Willie Green, are going to meet the plane in Oakland.