Warriors' Draymond Green ejected for hitting Suns' Jusuf Nurkic

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green was ejected a league-high three times through 15 games this season. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green was ejected a league-high three times through 15 games this season. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green received his third ejection of the season for swinging his arm and hitting center Jusuf Nurkic in the face during a loss to the Phoenix Suns.

The sequence occurred with about 8:23 remaining in the 119-116 setback Tuesday at the Footprint Center in Phoenix. Green, who totaled two points, two assists and two rebounds in the loss, apologized for the hit at his postgame news conference. He also said he swung his arms while attempting to "sell a call."


"As you know, I'm not one to apologize for things I meant to do, but I do apologize to Jusuf, because I didn't intent to hit him," Green told reporters. "I sell calls with my arms. I don't fall to sell a call. I'm not a flopper.

"So I was just selling a call."

The Warriors were attempting to throw the ball in from the sideline at the start of the sequence. Nurkic was guarding Green near the corner closest to that sideline. Nurkic used his left arm to hold Green before the Warriors forward spun around and swung his right arm. Green's arm then hit Nurkic hard on the left side of his face. The Suns big man fell to the floor while holding his face.


Green was immediately given a flagrant Type 2 foul, triggering an automatic ejection.

The NBA will review the sequence and could further discipline Green for his latest actions. Warriors forward was suspended for five games in November for putting center Rudy Gobert in a headlock during a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. His first ejection of the season occurred earlier that same month after he pushed Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell.

"What's going on with him? I don't know," Nurkic told reporters, when asked about Green. "Personally, I feel like that brother needed help. I'm glad he didn't try to choke me. At the same time, it had nothing to do with basketball. I'm just out there trying to play basketball. ... I hope whatever he has going on in his life gets better."

Nurkic recorded 17 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in the win. Devin Booker totaled a game-high 32 points, seven assists and four rebounds.

Fellow All-Star guard Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 24 points.

Green, 33, is averaging 9.7 points, 5.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game this season. The four-time All-Star, four-time champion, two-time All-NBA selection and eight-time All-Defensive Team selection committed 26 fouls (shooting or offensive) in 15 games this season.


He has been among the league leaders in technical fouls for the last several seasons.

The Warriors (10-14) will face the Los Angeles Clippers (13-10) at 10:30 p.m. EST Thursday in Los Angeles. The Suns (14-10) will host the Brooklyn Nets (12-10) at 9 p.m. Wednesday in Phoenix.

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