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Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis was ejected in their 118-110 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series on Monday night, and basketball fans weren’t happy about it.
Not one bit.
Porzingis ejected after second technical
Both of Porzingis’ technical fouls on Monday weren’t outrageous by any means.
His first one came midway through the second quarter after he came up with what looked like a fairly clean block on Paul George and started celebrating.
Officials said after the game that the technical was assessed “for throwing an air punch at the official in resentment” of the foul call.
His second foul came after a scrum in the third quarter, which started after Luka Doncic and Marcus Morris got into it down in the post.
Porzingis ran in and lightly shoved Morris, who pushed him back in the brief incident. Both he and Morris received technical fouls.
Since that marked Porzingis’ second of the night, he was ejected. Officials said after the game that the second technical was assessed because Porzingis was “an escalator to the altercation,” which is an automatic technical.
Porzingis finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
“It’s unfortunate. We just learn from it, and we’ve got to understand this is part of the emotions of the playoffs,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said, via Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. “[He was] protecting his teammate on the second technical, which is the right thing to do in the playoffs. But the first one where it was an air punch, that’s automatic. They called one on him, they called one on George. So, we’ll avoid that in Game 2, and we’ll go from there.”
Porzingis defends his actions
Porzingis admitted after the game that he should have been smarter and not let his emotions get the better of him, but he didn’t regret standing up for Doncic.
He also didn’t think what he did was worth a technical foul.
“No, of course not. Of course not,” he said when asked if he thought the second technical was warranted. “But I understand. We got into it a little bit. I saw him getting into Luka’s face. I didn’t like that. That’s why I reacted.
“That’s the smart thing to do from their part. I’ve just got to be smarter and control my emotions next time.”
NBA fans not happy
It didn’t take long for some of the biggest names in the NBA world and the sports world in general to chime in on the ejection. Even Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before the start of the fourth quarter on ESPN that the wasn’t happy that Porzingis was out.
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