The Warriors coasted to a 121-104 win in the opener of their best-of-seven NBA playoff series against the Clippers on Saturday night, but not before some fireworks in the final minutes.
Clippers guard Patrick Beverley had guarded Warriors forward Kevin Durant throughout much of the game, with the two frequently engaging in some back-and-forth in between plays.
That back-and-forth came to a head with 4:41 remaining, when Durant forced a turnover by Beverley, and then stood over the Clippers guard. When Beverley stood back up, the two exchanged some words before being separated by the officials and ejected from the game with their second technical fouls. They had received their first technicals 19 seconds earlier over a previous incident in which Durant and Beverley were jawing at each other.
KD and Pat Beverley got tossed 😳 pic.twitter.com/lBLYACb5pb— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 14, 2019
"I've been playing against Pat Bev since he was at Arkansas," Durant said after the game. "You know what he's going to bring to the table, just the physicality, mucking up the game a little bit with his physicality, his talking, everything. That's what he brings to each team he plays on.
"That's his identity," Durant continued, "and they support him with the Clippers. So, for me, I know that coming into the series. I thought it was fun tonight."
While the victory was well in hand at the time of Durant's ejection, it could come back to bite the Warriors down the line. Players receive an automatic one-game suspension upon receiving their seventh technical in the playoffs, so Durant already is way ahead of that pace after only one game.