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Chris Paul missed yelling at Clippers so much he led a locker room invasion

We have that and more in Tuesday’s NBA newsletter.

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Thursday update: The complete story about the locker room “fight” has come out, and the facts are a little bit different from what we all believed on Monday. Here’s the full story.

I don’t even know where to begin.

So Chris Paul made his return to Los Angeles to face the Clippers. The team gave him a nice video and all that. But Blake Griffin was geared up for this, and the Clippers were in position to pull off the upset. Griffin and CP3 got a little physical on a late possession. The Clippers started chirping. Griffin offended Mike D’Antoni by brushing by a little too close, drawing out some F-bombs from the Rockets coach. Griffin threw a loose ball off of Eric Gordon while going out of bounds, drawing Trevor Ariza’s ire. A little skirmish led to Griffin’s second technical and an ejection in the final minute and change. He exited a hero as L.A. showered him with appreciation.

The Clippers’ chirping got a bit more aggressive with Austin Rivers — in street clothes due to injury — getting the loudest. So after the final buzzer, after players went to their locker rooms, Paul did what any military commander trapped in a point guard’s body does: he led an invasion of the Clippers’ locker room.

This is not an exaggeration.

According to reports, Clint Capela went to the front door of the Clippers’ locker room and knocked. A Clippers staffer refused to let him in. (Adrian Wojnarowski reports Capela, confused, just stood there for a while, then retreated to the showers. Phenomenal.) MEANWHILE, CP3 led a party of Rockets — including James Harden and Ariza — through a SECRET HALLWAY into the Clippers’ locker room, as Paul called for Rivers and Griffin to come out and play. (Gerald Green also apparently joined the party en route through another corridor. We’re going to need to see the damn blueprints.)

No one actually wanted to fight, because this is the NBA. So staff and security guards separated them; a police escort eventually got the Rockets to the airport. Then everyone got their Twitter fingers going.

There’s going to be more coming out of the woodwork Tuesday about this most grand of NBA escapades. Stay tuned, and pray for a Rockets-Clippers playoff series.

Scores Galore ...

CHA 118, DET 107
TOR 111, PHI 117
MIL 104, WAS 95
SAS 99, ATL 102
NYK 119, BKN 104
MIA 111, CHI 119
LAL 114, MEM 123
SAC 88, OKC 95
GSW 118, CLE 108
IND 109, UA 94
HOU 102, LAC 113

... And So Much More

Y’all, that Helm’s Deep battle in L.A. wasn’t even the first fake fight in the NBA on Monday. Kyle Lowry and Ben Simmons faced up in Philadelphia, and met in the hallway to pretend like they were going to throw dukes. A Philly dude vs. an Aussie ... I feel like I’ve seen this one on the History Channel.

Here’s a full rundown of all the wackadoo things that happened in the league Monday.

In more serious news, best wishes to Tyler Johnson, who suffered what appears to be a knee injury.

The Cavaliers hung with the Warriors ... for three quarters. Unfortunately, NBA games are four quarters. These Isaiah Thomas alley-oops to LeBron James were nice to see, though.

James has never made a bad business decision.

Myles Turner celebrated his teammates so hard he ripped his pants.

Plugging athletes into that Google Arts & Culture app gave us Kristaps Porzingis as a baby, so ... worth it.

So nice to see Marc Stein power rankings once again.

Interesting to consider the Cavaliers are having the kind of January swoon that cost David Blatt his job two years ago. The difference is Ty Lue has won a title here, and James likes him.

Gregg Popovich with some potent, cogent words on the legacy of Martin Luther King. James got political in his comments.


Be excellent to each other.

Giannis’ game is so complete he doesn’t need a jump shot