Tensions boiled over between Draymond Green and Domantas Sabonis on Monday night.
The Sacramento Kings, however, still found a way to light the beam and take a huge 2-0 series lead over the Golden State Warriors.
The Kings held on to take a 114-106 win in a contentious Game 2 of their opening-round playoff series with the Warriors at the Golden 1 Center. The Warriors haven’t trailed 0-2 in a playoff series since 2007, two years before they even drafted star Stephen Curry out of Davidson.
Draymond Green ejected after stomping on Domantas Sabonis
Green and Sabonis had been going at each other throughout the series, though it was nothing more than just extra physical play until Monday night.
Just before the midway point of the fourth quarter with the Kings up by 4 points, Green and Sabonis got tangled up underneath the hoop while fighting for a rebound. Sabonis looked like he was hit in the face as he fell to the floor before he wrapped his arms around Green’s leg.
As Green started to go the other way, he stepped directly onto Sabonis’ chest — which left the Kings star writhing in pain in the lane.
That prompted a lengthy review while Kings staff tended to Sabonis on the floor, and Green got into it with a big group of Kings fans behind their bench.
Green finished with 8 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds.
Sabonis was asked on TNT after the win if he had any animosity about the altercation with Green, but he seemed very unbothered by the whole thing.
“No, you know, we’re both fighting for the rebound,” he said. “We fell on each other. Stuff happens. It’s basketball. We’ve gotta move on next play.”
Sabonis underwent X-rays on his ribs and lungs after the game, too, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. His status moving forward isn’t clear, but he finished out the game normally.
Green said after the incident that Sabonis grabbed his leg, and that it was the second time in two games that his leg was grabbed.
“I gotta land my foot somewhere, and I’m not the most flexible person so it’s not stretching that far,” he said, via the Sacramento Bee’s Chris Biderman. “I can only step so far and pulling my leg away. So, it is what it is … The explanation was I stomped too hard.”
Green called out the officials directly, too. He said Kings guard Malik Monk grabbed him right in front of an official in Game 1, too.
“I guess ankle grabbing is OK,” he said sarcastically.
As for his response to the crowd, Green wasn’t taking anything too seriously.
“I’m just having fun,” Green said. “It’s a fun game, fun atmosphere to play in.”
Kings coach Mike Brown, however, had no doubt that Green’s move warranted the ejection.
“For sure, it’s a Flagrant 2 for sure,” Brown said, via The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “It’ll be interesting to see what the NBA does after they review it.”
Though the Warriors had plenty of chances to finally jump back ahead, and Klay Thompson cut the game to a single point with a 3-pointer late, the Kings responded with a 10-2 run in the final minutes to seal the 8-point win.
Curry led Golden State with 28 points, but shot just 3-of-13 from behind the arc. Andrew Wiggins, who returned to the starting lineup on Monday night, added 22 points, and Thompson finished with 21 points.
Sabonis led the Kings with 24 points and 9 rebounds while shooting 8-of-12 from the field. De’Aaron Fox added 24 points and 9 assists. They shot just 9 of 38 from the 3-point line, but forced 22 turnovers.
Game 3 of the series is set for Thursday night in San Francisco.
“They did a great job defensively, pressuring us, and we didn’t handle it well enough to win a playoff game on the road,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “And with that said, it was a tie game with four minutes left, or whatever it was. So we know we have to play better, but we will play better.”