DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant nearly fight, get ejected

By Alex Butler – UPI

NBA superstars Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins were both thrown out of their matchup Monday after nearly getting into a fight.

And Draymond Green broke it up, obviously.

The Golden State Warriors were leading the New Orleans Pelicans 118-110 with 1:14 remaining in the fourth quarter at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Cousins and Durant were talking trash all night. At one point in the fourth quarter, Cousins appeared to nearly head-butt the Warriors superstar.

During another exchange, Durant talked trash to Cousins and stepped up to the Pelicans big man. Green stepped between the two giants, but the referee ejected both players. Each player will likely receive a $25,000 fine after they failed to leave the court in a timely manner.

The technical foul was Cousins’ seventh of the season. Durant earned his third ejection in his last 18 games. He had two ejections in the first 810 games of his career.

“Every time I get ejected, I make sure it’s late in the game,” Durant told reporters after the game, according to the Athletic.

“I’m not messing up like that in the first or second quarter, I make sure it’s late in the game if I want to do something, but I’ve got to be more focused than that, I’ve got to be more poised, I can’t let anybody take me off my game.”

“I’ve been in the league for too long, especially with somebody like Cousins, we know that he’s feisty, we know that he’s emotional. We know that he plays that way, so I can’t get involved with that – that’s just who he is, I’ve got to be me.”

Golden State left with a 125-115 victory. Cousins had 19 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and five steals. Durant posted 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

“[Cousins has] got to be able to control it,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said, according to NOLA.com. “He’s got to be able to understand that teams can’t physically play him inside, so they’re going to do everything they can to emotionally get him off his game. We’ll just keep talking to him about it, keep showing it and, hopefully, he’s got to get better at it. Obviously, we don’t want him suspended.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted that the defending world champions are showing a lack of composure.

“We’re not composed out there. We’re a championship team,” Kerr said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “We have to be poised and we have to execute out there. We’re getting way too emotional, myself included. I have to do a better job of that, too. But you got to show some poise when things aren’t going our way. Stop worrying about everything else and worry about the game.”

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