LOS ANGELES -- Clippers forward Matt Barnes has apologized for a profane remark to the mother of Houston Rockets guard James Harden during Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night, she said.
Harden's mother, Monja Willis, told TMZ Sports that Barnes apologized at the request of Harden's brother.
"My older son walked over to him and told him to apologize," Willis said. "And he did."
A source told ESPN that the Rockets informed the NBA about Barnes' verbal exchanges with fans in both games of the series. The Rockets tied the series Wednesday at 1-1 with a 115-109 win.
"I heard about some of that stuff," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said Thursday afternoon. "You don't say anything to [the mother]. If you got something to say, say it to the guy you're playing against. I never thought of talking bad to Magic [Johnson's] mother. It's hard enough talking trash to Magic."
League officials did not comment. Barnes and Harden were not available for comment.
"We all talk smack," McHale said. "But my goodness, that thought never even crossed your mind. I honestly don't even know what happened; I wasn't there. I didn't get a chance to talk to James' mother about it or anything. From what I heard, that's just not right.
"I came from an era where everybody talked smack and there was a lot of stuff going on. Not like that. It was much more: 'I'm going to kick your ass, what are you going to say about that?' Go from there."
Clippers coach Doc Rivers also has exchanged words with fans, but it has been in a good-natured way.
"No, I didn't really know about it until this morning," Rivers said in a conference call with reporters Thursday. "I don't think you should [trash talk] unless you're doing it for fun and have fun. I have found the fans in Houston to be pretty much fun.
"They're loud, they get on you, but in a nice way. So I think as long as you keep it that way, it's good. But I don't think you should ever get involved in an exchange with anyone, either way, both ways. ... It's not basketball, though."
The NBA could fine Barnes for his conduct.
Barnes was fined $25,000 in January for directing inappropriate language at fans. It was the second time Barnes was fined for such conduct.
Another 25k! The part of the story the nba hasn't told you was my language wasnt directed at a fan, I was talkn to the owner of the Suns....— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) January 27, 2015
Information from ESPN.com's Andrew Han was used in this report.