The Golden State Warriors cruised to a 121-104 win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night at Oracle Arena, taking the early lead in their opening-round playoff series.
It was a feud between Warriors star Kevin Durant and Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley that stole the show, however.
Durant and Beverley, after feuding back and forth throughout the contest, were ejected late in the fourth quarter of the matchup.
Beverley, while bringing the ball up the court with less than five minutes to go in the game, lost control of the ball near the half-court line when confronted by Durant.
Durant then forced Beverley out of bounds, which gave the Warriors possession. However Durant stood over Beverley once the call was made and clearly said something, which made Beverly jump up and get into his face.
Quickly, an official jumped in the middle and gave both players a technical foul before ejecting them from the game.
Durant, though, didn’t seem bothered by the ejection, and was seen smiling, clapping and high-fiving with fans on his way out of the arena.
The two had been going at it throughout the contest, and can be seen having a lengthy conversation after Beverley fouled Durant from behind while he was attempting to go up for a layup just before the ejection.
Beverley was mocking Durant to his face, too, after Durant drew a foul early in the second half.
Durant finished with 23 points in the 17-point win, shooting 8-of-16 from the field. Steph Curry led the Warriors with 38 points, shooting 8-of-12 from the 3-point line. Curry now holds the NBA record for most 3-pointers made in the postseason, passing Ray Allen with 386.
Beverley finished with three points, shooting 1-of-6 from the field. Montrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 26 points off the bench, and Lou Williams added 25 points.
Both Durant and Beverly now have two technical fouls in the postseason, which will cost them each a $4,000 fine, per NBA rules. Once a player hits seven technical fouls in the playoffs, they will be suspended for one game.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr knows that’s something Durant will have to pay attention to this postseason — especially after taking Beverley’s “bait” in just the first game of the playoffs.
“He took the bait … That’s what Beverley does,” Kerr said. “We talked about it the last couple of days. He’s a hell of a defender who plays hard. I have a lot of respect for him. But you can not take the bait because, that’s a bad trade for us.”