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Sabonis Takes a Hit as Draymond Green’s Hard Step Leads to Ejection

Sabonis Takes a Hit as Draymond Green's Hard Step Leads to Ejection

Sabonis Takes a Hit as Draymond Green's Hard Step Leads to Ejection

There haven’t been many firsts for this Golden State Warriors team in their 28 postseason series together. Before the 2023 playoffs, they had never been down 2-0 in a series. In fact, since losing the first two games of the Western Conference playoffs in 2007, the Warriors hadn’t done so in a postseason series.

All of that changed on Monday night when the Sacramento Kings defeated Golden State 114-106 to take a 2-0 series lead in the opening round.

The Warriors’ performance in the game deteriorated in waves due to problems they had encountered all season, including missed open layups, being outmatched physically, and poor ball handling. At 7:03 left in the fourth quarter, after stomping on Domantas Sabonis of Sacramento, it concluded with Draymond Green being sent out.

Sabonis stumbled and collapsed in the paint after Stephen Curry retrieved a defensive rebound and turned to walk up the court. Green initially managed to shake free Sabonis’ hold on his right leg before taking a decisive step directly into Sabonis’ chest.

Sabonis lay on the ground for a while as authorities examined the play. He received a technical penalty for grasping Green’s leg, and Green has ejected automatically after receiving a flagrant foul 2. ” When I fell, I was protecting myself, and then the incident happened,” Sabonis said. “There is no room for that in our game today.

According to a source who spoke to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “Sabonis had X-rays on his sternum, which came back negative, and he appears to have escaped harm. As a precaution, he will get more testing on Tuesday.

In explaining his side of the incident, Green said, “My leg got grabbed — the second time in two nights — and the referee is just watching. I got to land my foot somewhere, and I’m not the most flexible person, so it’s not stretching that far…. I can only step so far with someone pulling my leg away.”

He claimed that Kings guard Malik Monk first grabbed Green’s leg in Game 1. “I guess ankle-grabbing is OK,” Green said Monday. “What are you going to do when someone grabs your foot when you’re running full speed?”

Warriors guard Klay Thompson asked rhetorically. “That’s not cool. I’m not saying what Draymond did was right, but you can’t just grab somebody’s foot taking off in a full sprint.”

After the game, Green asked for an X-ray, a source verified to Andscape’s Marc J. Spears. According to the source, Green claimed to have pain in his ankle, which he feels was brought on by Sabonis grabbing it.

Mike Brown, the coach of the Kings, declared that he was “curious” about the outcome of the league’s review of the incident. The next consideration is whether the performance justifies a further suspension or penalty.

The Sacramento crowd booed Green during the in-game review, and he encouraged them by waving his hands, bringing a hand to his ear to request more boos, and standing on a chair with a towel around his shoulders.

Green’s previous playoff infractions include accruing too many flagrant fouls during that season’s playoffs, which resulted in a one-game suspension during the NBA Finals in 2016.

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Green smiled and gave the peace sign as he sat on the bench Monday night as yells of “Draymond sucks” rained down. And he gave a hearty dapped up to each of his colleagues as he returned to the locker room.

When Green was dismissed, the game was still in play. The Warriors have previously benefited from similar situations by letting Green’s zeal propel them. The Kings, who were leading 91-87 at the time of the incident, instead got precisely that out of it.

“That brought us together,” Sacramento point guard De’Aaron Fox said. “We huddled up and were like, ‘We have to win this game,’ especially because everybody thought [Green] would be ejected. When that usually happens, that team comes together and goes on a run. We were able to negate that.”

Even though the Warriors had the game in hand almost the entire time, too many more mistakes kept them from catching up to the Kings. 20 turnovers by the Warriors undoubtedly didn’t help.

Their fouling is the same. Golden State has had noticeable problems in both categories through the first two games of this series. After attempting 32 foul shots in Game 1, the Kings tried 29 free throws on Monday night.

Curry made just 3-of-13 three-pointers and finished with 28 points on 9-of-21 shooting. He faced opposition on 16 of his 21 field goal tries and nine of his thirteen 3-pointers. With Fox or Monk as his main defender, he went 0 for 5.

Thompson scored 21 points on 7 of 13 shooting, including five three-pointers, while Andrew Wiggins added 22 points on 9 of 19 attempts. But it wasn’t enough to make up for the Warriors’ weaknesses.

“I think the confidence we have, as delusional as it sounds, we continue to make the same mistakes but still compete at a high level and show what we are capable of,” Curry said. “We know we have it, and we know we are capable. It’s just, can we execute? That question will determine our fate in this series.”

It could also be time to give the Kings they’re due, though. Despite having no prior postseason experience, they consistently showed calmness, composure, and control whenever there was a chance for panic to set in.

“They played better than we did down the stretch,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “They were the aggressors, and I thought they benefited from being the aggressors.”

Despite being down 2-0, the Warriors don’t seem rattled. When speaking to reporters following the game, Green had a smirk on his face.

“It’s exciting, right?” he said of being in unfamiliar territory in a playoff series. “It’s a new challenge. After the game, I was thinking that: This was something we hadn’t seen yet. And we’ve conquered all the rest of them, so why not go conquer this one? It will be a lot of fun.”‘

As he answered inquiries, Thompson embodied the word “chill.” Even though it was quiet, the locker area didn’t have a bad vibe.

“I don’t feel pressure,” Thompson said. “I see an opportunity to protect home court and make adjustments. We’ve been through it all. We’re not accustomed to hitting the panic button.”

The Warriors are not overly concerned at this time. However, depending on how they react in San Francisco, that may very well alter.

“That’s the old saying: The series doesn’t start until somebody wins on the other team’s home floor,” Curry said. “If we want to get ourselves back into it, we’ve got to start with a focused effort on Game 3 at home.”

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