JK, Clarkson explain dust-up late in Warriors' loss to Jazz originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Jazz trailed by two points with 28 seconds remaining when Clarkson, closely guarded by Kuminga, tried to drive to the basket. Kuminga stayed with him and swatted a mid-range shot.
When Kuminga grabbed the basketball, Clarkson wrapped him up. The two players exchanged shoves and had to be separated.
"I didn't have no intention to do anything," Kuminga said after the game. "It was just funny to the point where I saw him square up right away and I'm like, ‘You were the one who fouled me. You don't got to do all that.’
“It was just funny just seeing that. I didn't say nothing. I didn't do nothing."
Clarkson explained his side of the story in his postgame press conference.
“I tried to hold him up,” Clarkson said. “I tried to hold him. That was it.”
Clarkson was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul on the play. He was ejected from the game, and the Warriors were awarded two free-throw attempts and the basketball.
“They just said it was a Flagrant 2 foul because how I fouled him or something. I didn’t make any contact with his face. I didn’t do anything. At the end of the day, I literally was trying to hold him up. But hey, the refs call what they call. They see what they see.”
Unfortunately for Golden State, it didn’t make the most of the opportunity. Kuminga only made one of two free-throw attempts, and Klay Thompson turned the ball over on the Warriors’ next possession. Utah scored five of the game’s final seven points to steal the victory in shocking fashion.
Although the Warriors didn’t pick up the win, Kuminga had his best game of the season, and arguably career. He played tough defense and logged 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting in 30 minutes of action.
Kuminga has plenty of room to grow, but frustrating a talented offensive player like Clarkson into a Flagrant 2 foul is a good sign for the youngster's defensive effort moving forward.