Rivers pays stiff price

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    DOC Rivers and Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer mutually agreed on Monday that Rivers would step down after seven seasons.

    “Doc has been a terrific coach for the Clippers, an incredible ambassador, and a pillar of strength during tumultuous times,” Ballmer said in a statement. “He won a heck of a lot of games and laid a foundation for this franchise.”

    Rivers’ departure comes 13 days after the Clippers blew a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference second-round series against the Denver Nuggets. Denver won the final three games.

    “When I took this job, my goals were to make this a winning basketball program, a free agent destination, and bring a championship to this organization,” Rivers said in a statement posted on Twitter. “While I was able to accomplish most of my goals, I won’t be able to see them all through.

    “Though it was a disappointing ending to our season. . . I know what this team is capable of accomplishing.”