Kevin Durant made headlines on Sunday. The Brooklyn Nets forward was ejected from the game against the Detroit Pistons for throwing an elbow at Kelly Olynyk towards the end of the third quarter of that contest. Durant had 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting when he was thrown out, with Brooklyn leading 68-85 at that stage of the game.
Durant’s ejection must have given some hope to the Pistons, who scored four quick points to cut the deficit to 13 points at 72-85. But the Nets then went on a 11-0 run to close out the quarter with the score reading 74-96 by the end of the third period. The Nets carried that momentum into the fourth quarter and finished the matchup with a comfortable 117-91 victory.
Speaking on how his ejection helped his team make the scoring run, Durant said half-sarcastically:
“I want to take credit and say I ignited my team. My leadership was the reason why we go on that 11-0 run. I ignited the crowd, with me getting kicked out…”
“I tried to run through the screen,” says Durant
Explaining the play against Olynyk that led to the refs hitting him with a Flagrant 2 that resulted in Durant having to leave the game, KD said:
“I tried to run through the screen. That was just the result of me trying to blow the screen up. Looking at it at the tape, I extended [my elbow] a little bit, but I was just trying to blow the screen, get over it and fight through. It is what it is.”
Durant’s ejection against the Pistons came immediately after the game against the Indiana Pacers. In that game, the Brooklyn Nets’ superstar had thrown the ball into the stands at the Barclays Center. Instead of being asked to leave that game, which would have been consistent with league rules, Durant was awarded a technical foul for that move. The NBA later fined him $25000 for the episode.
The Brooklyn Nets’ win against the Detroit Pistons props them up to a 4-3 record. The Nets have now won two straight games and will play the Atlanta Hawks in the last of their six-game home stand. They will then begin a six-game road trip, with their very first matchup against the Pistons on November 5.
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