MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)Golden State forward Draymond Green was ejected for a flagrant foul shortly before halftime of Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.
Green originally was called for a foul on Brandon Clarke with 1:18 left in the second quarter. Officials reviewed the play where Green had hold of Clarke’s jersey after a missed layup. Clarke went down on his stomach, though it appeared Green tried to help hold him up as Clarke hit the court.
Officials took their time reviewing the play as Memphis fans chanted ”Throw him out!” Then they determined Green committed a Flagrant 2, sending him to the locker room with six points, four rebounds, three assists and five turnovers in 17 minutes.
Crew Chief Kane Fitzgerald explained the ruling of the Flagrant 2, saying the contact was considered unnecessary and excessive.
”The first part was the wind up and significant contact to the face, and then the pull down from the jersey grab and throw down to the floor to an airborne vulnerable player makes that unnecessary and excessive,” Fitzgerald said in a pool report.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr said after a 117-116 win that he was surprised by the call. The official explanation was that Green hit Clarke in the face and threw him to the ground on a follow-through.
”We knew that was a tough break that didn’t go our way and we were all kind of shocked by the decision, but we were confident and determined and the guys stayed with it,” Kerr said.
Memphis led 54-53 at the time of the Green foul, and the Grizzlies took a 61-55 lead into halftime.
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