Kevin Durant peppered with a ton of Patrick Beverley questions this morning, doesn’t seem to love that it’s become the storyline of the series: “Just the reaction after the game, I don’t want coach or my teammates or the organization upset with something I did.” pic.twitter.com/C3QJ8KlbaT
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 15, 2019
After Kevin Durant was ejected in the fourth quarter of Golden State’s Game-1 win over the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday, he seemed to defend his motive. Durant and Beverley had jawed back and forth all game long. With about four minutes left in the game, the two got tied up out of bounds, continued barking at each other, and were promptly tossed.
During his postgame press conference, Durant said he was trying to “bring some intensity to the arena, the game, my team.”
“I thought that was the perfect time for me to do so, but that resulted in a technical foul,” Durant said. “I am sure (referee) Ed (Malloy) was just trying to control the game tonight. We ain’t try to take it too far. I guess he thought it was taken too far. I just thought it was one of those plays where I could show a little bit more emotion than I normally show.”
On Monday, during the team’s shoot-around ahead of its Game 2 matchup with the Clippers, Durant spoke with a different tone.
“I don’t want to disappoint my coaches, my fanbase and owners who expect me to be out on the floor,” Durant told reporters. “So, I apologize.”
As for his intentions moving forward…
“Keep my mouth shut and play the game; simple,” Durant added.
The Warriors knew what to expect from Beverley Saturday night. They knew one of the NBA’s best, most pesky defenders would do everything he could to poke and prod the defending champs until they cracked in Game 1. Steve Kerr later said Durant “took the bait.”
“I don’t want to get in the way of what’s going on out on the floor,” Durant said. “I think that was a huge distraction, and I don’t want that to be a part of the series.”
Beverley matched up with Durant from start to finish in Golden State’s 121-104 win. The banter between the two started early, as Beverley appeared to make fun of Durant for flopping in the first quarter. The two playfully went back and forth until they crossed the line, at least in the officials’ eyes, late in the fourth quarter.
The first technical came after Durant leaked out and attempted a layup on a fast break. Beverley sprinted back and fouled Durant. After more jawing, the referees enforced double-technicals.
Less than a minute later, Durant and Beverley got tied up out of bounds. Durant, staring at Beverley on the ground, smiled and clapped his hands. Beverley sprung up and got in Durant’s face. The two were promptly ejected.
Durant needs just five more technicals to reach the quota of seven playoff-technicals, which means a suspension in the following game. He said he isn’t worried about that because he can control himself. Kerr wants to ensure it doesn’t happen again because the Clippers gain an advantage when they lose Beverley and the Warriors lose Durant.
“You can not take the bait because that’s a bad trade for us,” Kerr said Saturday. “The Clippers have made a lot of good trades this year, and that was maybe their best.”