The ejection is his third of the season, and he now will have to await a league review for the possibility of another suspension.
Green was ejected with 8:23 left in the third quarter after he swung and hit Nurkic in the head while defending him. At first, while Green’s back was turned to Nurkic, he repeatedly held Nurkic off him. Eventually, Green turned and hit Nurkic in the head with his hand. Officials deemed the foul a flagrant 2 after a video review.
“I am not one to apologize for things I mean to do, but I do apologize to Jusuf because I didn’t intend to hit him,” Green said after the game. “I sell calls with my arms … so I was selling the call … and I swung and unfortunately I hit him.”
Green’s three ejections are tied for his most in a season. His first came after he picked up two technical fouls against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 11. His second came against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 14 when he put Rudy Gobert in a headlock. The NBA suspended Green for five games after the latter incident, with the league citing Green’s history as a repeat offender for the length of the suspension.
“We need him. We need Draymond. He knows that,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ve talked to him. He’s got to find a way to keep his poise and be out there for his teammates.”
Green acknowledged Kerr’s message.
“Like I said, if I intended to do that, then I would feel awful about not being there,” Green said. “But my intentions were just to sell the foul.
“You guys have known me long enough, if I intended to do something, I am not apologizing. But I did make contact with him, so I do apologize. … It’s a hard hit.”
Nurkic said Green’s actions “had nothing to do with basketball,” and Suns coach Frank Vogel called it “a reckless, dangerous play.”
“I’m sensitive to our guys getting hit on plays like that,” Vogel said. “I didn’t like it. The refs did what they had to do. The league will do what they have to do.”
“It seems like every game our bench has to come in and rescue the game,” Kerr said. “Our starting group hasn’t been able to put it together. That’s why we are treading water.”
The Warriors have dug themselves into a 10-13 hole a quarter of the way through the season as the core group of players they depend on continues to struggle.
“We need everybody to play at a level that we expect. When it doesn’t happen, we lose,” Curry said. “It’s pretty simple. That’s the predicament we’re in. We all have to play better together, individually we have to play better. Whatever you’re asked to do — whatever minutes, whatever rotation you’re in, be prepared to adapt.”
Wiggins scored just three points on 1-of-7 shooting in 17 minutes, while Thompson scored seven points on 2-of-10 shooting, including 1-of-8 from 3, in 27 minutes. With just over six minutes left in the game, Thompson stepped out of bounds on the sideline for another Warriors turnover.
As Thompson made his way around the bench during the subsequent timeout, when he was subbed out of the game, he was yelling and continuously pacing, throwing towels on the ground and needing Curry to talk him down.
Thompson said after the game that it was “strange” not to close but that he deserved to be benched.
“I played like crap,” he said. “If you’ve ever played basketball before, you know what you are capable of. You always want to be out there competing. That’s just facts … but I deserved to be benched. I’ve been playing like crap. Twenty games in, I haven’t found a rhythm.”
Instead, Kerr opted to close with Curry, Chris Paul, Dario Saric, Jonathan Kuminga and Brandin Podziemski. At the start of the second half, Kerr started Kuminga and Podziemski over Wiggins and Kevon Looney. These were Kerr’s first major adjustments since warning last week that changes could be on the way.
All but one of the Warriors’ bench players scored in double figures and finished with a positive net efficiency rating. Meanwhile, among the starters, Curry (with 24 points) was the only one to score more than seven, and only Thompson had a positive net rating (plus-4).
“I’ve been really patient in trying to get everybody organized, into groups and give guys freedom and space, but tonight did not feel like the night to have a lot of patience,” Kerr said. “We needed some urgency.”
Source : ESPN