LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers was still searching for a reason why Matt Barnes was ejected with 56 seconds left in the third quarter of a 120-116 OT win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.
As Kevin Love drove to the basket, Barnes came over the top of him and fouled him hard, although replays showed his arms reaching for the basketball. After officials reviewed it, they upgraded his foul from a flagrant 1 to a flagrant 2 and ejected him.
"They wouldn't give me an explanation," Rivers said. "First of all, it wasn't a flagrant 2. I didn't think it was a flagrant 1. He got mostly ball and he swung at it. My only problem with the way that was done, Blake's should have been looked at."
Rivers was referring to Love's elbow connecting with Blake Griffin's forehead in the fourth quarter, which made Griffin bleed and forced him to be tended to on the bench before he could return.
"I don't know if it was flagrant or not with Kevin Love but that should have been looked at," Rivers said. "If you're going to look at Matt's, you have to look at Blake's. It was an elbow to the head where the guy was bleeding. I think we should at least look at that, and they refused to look at that so I was surprised by that."
Griffin after the game said he didn't think either foul should have been called flagrant.
"First of all, I don't think Matt should have got ejected," Griffin said. "I don't think either one was intentional to be honest with you."
Barnes left the locker room without addressing the media but there certainly was a feeling that he was ejected largely because of his history and reputation. Earlier this season Barnes was ejected for an altercation with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka and subsequently fined for a tweet he sent afterward that included a racial slur.
"He's earned his reputation," Rivers said. "Having said that, you still go to do your job. If you think he did it, he did it, if you don't, he didn't. You still go to do what's required by the rules."