Davis was visibly upset as he walked toward the team bench after being taken out of the game for Ryan Hollins in the 118-107 win over the Houston Rockets.
Davis exchanged words with Rivers and was told to sit down. Clippers assistant coach Alvin Gentry attempted to talk to Davis, but Rivers apparently had seen and heard enough and told team security to escort Davis back to the locker room.
"Nothing went on with me," Rivers said after the game. "I thought Baby was just too emotional, and for me, if you're too emotional I always send you back to the locker room and keep you back there until the next game. I love Baby. I just didn't think emotionally he was ready to play tonight, so we told him to go to the locker room."
Davis joined Blake Griffin in the locker room after the All-Star forward left the game with 5:49 left in the first quarter with back spasms and did not return.
Rivers coached Davis during his first four seasons in the league with the Boston Celtics and had to deal with a few emotional outbursts from him in the past -- most famously in 2008 when Davis was crying at the end of the bench after being yelled at by Kevin Garnett. But he had never sent him back to the locker room prior to Saturday.
"No, I haven't, but I've talked about emotional hijacks," Rivers said. "If you have one, I'll send you back. We've talked about that as a group. I didn't make a big deal, didn't address it halftime and it's not a big deal. We needed him tonight, but he wasn't here emotionally, so you tell him to go and sit."
After Davis was sent to the locker room, the Clippers went on a 34-18 run and took a 61-58 halftime lead after trailing by as many as 15 points in the second quarter.
Davis was dressed and left the Clippers locker room as soon as the game was over without speaking to reporters. Despite having incidents in the past, Rivers was adamant this was a one-game punishment and nothing more.
"No, we're not going to get into the whole Baby thing; this has not been building," Rivers said. "He was emotional tonight, and we told him to go sit down. I just thought he was a distraction, and when guys are a distraction, I don't think they should be on the bench. If you're a distraction for anybody on the bench that should be paying attention to the game, then go sit in the back so our guys can watch the game."
Davis signed with the Clippers on Feb. 24 after negotiating a buyout with the Orlando Magic. Davis played for Rivers with the Celtics from 2007 to '11, winning a championship in 2008.
Clippers Punch Ticket To Postseason
Chris Paul tallied 30 points and 12 assists to help the Clippers beat the Rockets 118-107 and clinch a playoff berth.