ORLANDO — Golden State Warriors All-Star Kevin Durant was irked with the officials after he was tossed late in Friday night’s 133-112 rout of the Orlando Magic.
“The refs run the game, so if they’re not feeling good today, they can just make any decision they want,” Durant said. “I have to know that they got all of the power, and I got to shut up and take it.”
Durant was ejected with 4:52 remaining in the contest.
His frustration stemmed from not being awarded a trip to the foul line midway through the final quarter.
“Oh yeah, it should have been two shots, but he didn’t give me an explanation on that,” Durant said of official Eric Lewis. “I guess because I kept asking him about it, he tossed me.”
The 6-foot-11 small forward was fouled by Magic point guard Elfrid Payton in what appeared to be the act of shooting. However, Lewis ruled that it was a non-shooting foul.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was irate and confused as he pleaded his case from the sideline.
“He got fouled on a shot, and for some reason, they didn’t give him two free throws, which was kind of bizarre,” Kerr said. “It was one of the most bizarre non-calls I’ve ever seen. It looked so obvious, and he should have been at the line. I’m sure he was upset. I was upset about that, too.”
On the Warriors’ next offensive possession, a frustrated Durant drove to the basket, absorbing some contact by Magic forward Aaron Gordon and nailed a tough off-balance jumper in the paint.
He immediately turned to Lewis, uttered something and was promptly sent to the showers.
“I guess I tried to show him up, and he didn’t like it, so he threw me out,” Durant said.
He finished the evening with 25 points, seven assists and a game-high four blocks in 30 minutes.
Durant is the third superstar this week to have been tossed from a game. Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James was sent to the locker room early in his game Tuesday, and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis hit the showers before teammates Wednesday. Davis was fined $25,000 for verbally abusing an official and failing to leave court in a timely manner.
Prior to this season, Durant only had been ejected once in his career. He has been tossed twice already in the first 23 games of this season.
Kerr was asked what Durant said to get tossed.
“He said the bad word,” Kerr replied. “The magic word. I told [official] Scott Foster, ‘I call you that all the time and you never kick me out.’ He said, ‘But I am one.'”