Doc Rivers: I ‘earned’ $25K fine

LOS ANGELES — Doc Rivers had no argument with the $25,000 fine he got from the NBA for his critical comments Tuesday night about an officiating call in Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"I don’t care about the fine," the Clippers coach said Thursday before Game 6 at Staples Center. "I thought it was deserved. It was one of the rare times that you actually earn one."

Rivers said his assistant got a call from two team employees who asked if they could have a payroll deduction of $100 each to help pay the fine. Rivers denied it.

But he didn’t back down from his claim that the out-of-bounds call, in which the ball appeared to go off the hand of OKC’s Reggie Jackson but was awarded to the Thunder, was wrong. After the game, he said the Clippers were "robbed."

"It needed to be said, and it was the truth," he said. "It was a call that should’ve went our way, and that’s been verified as well. But at the end of the day, I still look at us and say, we made our own problems. It should’ve never come to that."

More important to Rivers and the Clippers is how quickly point guard Chris Paul is able to bounce back from mistakes he made in the final minute. Paul blamed himself for the loss and was still visibly dejected a day later.

"He’s doing a lot better," Rivers said. "Listen, it’s a tough go. Yesterday I thought was his worst day. He’s very intense, very aware. Sometimes you wish he wasn’t. Today he was so much better.

"He’s a gamer. He’ll be ready."

The Clippers face an elimination game against the Thunder, but a victory will send them back to Oklahoma City for Game 7 on Sunday.