Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green was ejected from the team's 114-106 loss to the Sacramento Kings in Game 2 of their first-round series for stomping on Domantas Sabonis' chest after the Kings forward fell to the floor and grabbed Green's leg.
"My leg got grabbed, second time in two nights," Green said. "Refrees just watch it. I gotta 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 and pulling my leg away, so it is what it is.
"The explanation [from the officials for the ejection] was I stomped too hard."
Early in the fourth quarter, Malik Monk missed a floater, and in the ensuing scramble for the rebound Sabonis was knocked to the floor. With bodies all around him, Sabonis, for some reason, grabbed Green's leg as he turned to head the other way. That is obviously not allowed, but Green appeared to retaliate with more of a deliberate stomp, as opposed to just a step. As Green shook his leg free of Sabonis' grasp, he then stomped right on his mid-section. Sabonis was issued a technical foul for his role in the incident.
As Sabonis stayed down, writhing in pain, the referees went to the monitor to review the situation. While that was happening, Green went into full wrestling heel mode. He was screaming at fans behind the Warriors' bench and egging on the boos that were pouring down from all corners of the arena.
After a brief assessment, the refs issued a technical to Sabonis and a the Flagrant 2 foul, which is an automatic ejection, to Green. This was in fact the second altercation between the two players,, in which Green sat on Sabonis to prevent him from getting back into the play on the other end of the floor.
Despite whatever animosity may exist between the two players, Sabonis wasn't feeding into the drama during his post-game interview on the court.
"It's playoff basketball," Sabonis said. "Look at the fans, this is it. We're here to fight. Every time we step on the floor we're gonna give everything for our teammates and the franchise. We're both fighting for the rebound. We fell on each other, stuff happens, it's basketball, we gotta move on, next play."
Said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr: "I didn't see the play live, and then I didn't see the replay. I asked [referee] Zach Zarba, he told me. I was busy with getting the team ready. One of the coaches told me he might get ejected, so I was trying to prepare for what was next."
This is the second career postseason ejection for Green, Brandon Clarke. Green was also infamously suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 Finals for his low blow on LeBron James, an incident that likely cost the Warriors the championship that season.for fouling, then throwing down
The Warriors were outscored 23-19 down the stretch after Green left Game 2. He finished with eight points, four rebounds, five assists and five turnovers.
Despite finishing the game, and being on the floor for interviews after the game, it was reported that Sabonis was to undergo a chest X-ray to see if there was any damage to his ribs and lungs. ESPN's Adrain Wojnarowski later said that X-rays were negative, but that there would be follow-up tests as a precaution.
Game 3 will take place in San Francisco on Thursday at 10 p.m. on TNT.