CLEVELAND -- The Los Angeles Clippers will be the first to admit that technical fouls didn't cost them in their 105-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night, but after the game, they still were fuming about being T'd up five times.
All-Star point guard Chris Paul's technical came with 10:17 left in the third quarter when he tried to get the inbounds pass quickly, but instead was T'd up after questioning Lauren Holtkamp, who became the third woman to referee NBA games full-time this season.
"The tech that I get right there was ridiculous. I don't care what nobody says, I don't care what she says; that's terrible. There's no way that can be a tech. ... That's ridiculous. If that's the case, this might not be for her."Chris Paul on referee Lauren Holtkamp
"I think we have to show better composure, but at the same time some of [the technical fouls] were ridiculous," Paul said. "The tech that I get right there was ridiculous. I don't care what nobody says, I don't care what she says; that's terrible. There's no way that can be a tech. We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court, and when we did that, she said, 'Uh-uh.' I said, 'Why, uh-uh?' And she gave me a tech.
"That's ridiculous. If that's the case, this might not be for her."
Paul, who also is head of the National Basketball Players Association, and several other Clippers players said after postgame interviews that their displeasure had nothing to do with Holtkamp's gender and everything to do with the calls she made on the court. The Clippers were unhappy with her calls in Thursday night's game and calls she made in a previous game against the Miami Heat.
Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com's Marc Stein that Paul's comments are under league review, but one source stressed that the review was triggered per normal protocol, as the comments were critical of officiating.
Before working for the NBA, Holtkamp had six seasons of NBA D-League experience, including work in the 2013 and 2014 D-League finals. She also has refereed in the WNBA, college and FIBA ranks.
She is one of two current full-time female officials in the NBA, along with Violet Palmer. Dee Kantner is no longer with the league.
Holtkamp also gave DeAndre Jordan a technical foul with 9:30 left in the third quarter after he screamed for a foul following a dunk.
"I guess she thought I was talking to her," Jordan said. "We talked about it. She said that she thought I was talking to her. She made a call and I talked to the other refs and they disagreed with it. Hopefully it will be rescinded. We'll see."
"The first one I'm guarding someone who outweighs me by 40 pounds and he makes a spin move and I slap down on the ball so he doesn't get an and-1, and he held my arm and I tried to pull my arm back, and I get a T," Barnes said. "The second one when they called Jamal [Crawford] for running into LeBron [James], I said, 'Just don't give them the game,' and they kicked me out."
Barnes is now tied for the NBA lead with 11 technical fouls this season. The Clippers lead the league with 58 technical fouls.
"It's bulls---, it keeps happening," Barnes said. "Some of these I earn and some of them I don't, but it's crazy to get a technical foul for pulling your arm away and a technical foul for saying, 'Just don't give them the game.' If you can't play with emotion, I don't see how you can play.
"I guess it's a reputation we've earned, and it's upon us to do a better job of trying to control our emotions, but you can't play the game at this level without emotion and without talking. It's tough but the refs had nothing to do with the way we came out and performed tonight."
Clippers coach Doc Rivers started the technical flurry early with one in the first quarter and joked that he wouldn't have minded getting a second and watching the game from the locker room as the Clippers trailed by as many as 32 points in the third quarter.
"I got one just trying to get our guys going early," Rivers said. "I haven't gotten a first-quarter tech in I don't know how long. Maybe I should get more. I would have liked to have gotten two at that point, that would have been terrific, but they kicked our butt."
Rivers also offered his condolences to a teenage fan sitting courtside who was wearing a Clippers shirt.
"We should have given you a better game than that. Let me make it up to you, all right? Give me some," he said, offering the fan a fist bump.