NBA: Rockets' Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green banned two games for Clippers dressing room 'visit'

Trevor Ariza of the Houston Rockets is restrained by an assistant coach before his ejection from the game during an LA Clippers win at the Staples Center on Jan 15, 2018.
Trevor Ariza of the Houston Rockets is restrained by an assistant coach before his ejection from the game during an LA Clippers win at the Staples Center on Jan 15, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza and guard Gerald Green were each suspended two games by the NBA on Wednesday (Jan 17) for a hostile confrontation with rivals in their opponents' locker room.

The incident took place after the Los Angeles Clippers beat the visiting Rockets 113-102 on Monday.

A league investigation that included more than 20 interviews with coaches, players, staff and executives from both teams plus arena personnel determined that the pair entered the Clippers' locker room just after the game and engaged in what a National Basketball Association (NBA) statement called "a hostile, verbal altercation" with several Clippers players.

The probe also concluded that fellow Rockets players James Harden and Chris Paul, a former Clipper, followed Ariza and Green into the corridor outside the opposing locker room in a bid to calm the situation and will not face disciplinary action.

Ariza and Green will be suspended for Thursday's Houston home game against Minnesota and a Saturday home showdown against the defending NBA champions Golden State Warriors. They can return for a Monday home game against Miami.

The bans mar a weekend feature match-up pitting the Warriors, with the NBA's best record at 36-9, against their nearest Western Conference rivals in the Rockets, who are 30-12.

Green averages 15.6 points and 3.2 rebounds a game this season for the Rockets, while Ariza averages 12.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 steals a game for Houston.

Clippers star Blake Griffin and Ariza were both ejected during the fourth quarter before the row spilled over into the locker room, the Rockets gaining access through a back entrance to continue the feud after the game before security guards intervened.