CLEVELAND – Another eventful Game 4 of the NBA Finals for Draymond Green – even after it appeared he’d been ejected in this one.
Green was allowed to stay in the game Friday night after officials said the first of two technical fouls charged to him had actually been called on coach Steve Kerr.
It didn’t matter in the end, at least not this time.
Green finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds but the Warriors still lost 137-116 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. That cut Golden State’s lead to 3-1, but as usual Green’s stats were only a small chapter of his story.
His technicals – the one called and the one that wasn’t – overshadowed his shooting and rebounding.
“Some things just never change, right?” Green said.
And nobody knows that better than Green.
A year after his antics on this floor led to a suspension for Game 5 that began the Warriors’ historic collapse, the fiery forward was again in the middle of the night’s strangest scene.
Green appeared to be ejected when he was called for what the Cavs and Warriors thought was his second technical midway through the third quarter. He waved his arms in frustration at an official after being called for fouling Kevin Love and was hit with the tech, which would have triggered an automatic ejection.
But Green didn’t leave the court, and referees said the technical they called after Green’s foul with 1:55 remaining in the first quarter was on Kerr – though the official box score had it listed as Green.
No announcement was ever made correcting the error, not that Green was listening for one.
And after the game, he took a swipe at everyone in Believeland.
“I really don’t pay that much attention – I don’t pay much attention to anybody in Cleveland honestly,” Green said. “They don’t seem to be the sharpest people around.”
Kerr said he thought the first technical was called on Green – though said he thought he deserved it – and believed his power forward was going to have to leave the floor when the one was called in the third quarter.
But Green stood stoically on the floor, then egged on the crowd to raise the decibel level of their jeers toward him. He said he knew all along the first tech wasn’t on him.
“I knew because the first tech on Steve, which I didn’t understand, Mike Callahan came up to John (Goble) and asked him who was the tech on and he said Kerr,” Green said. “So I knew I didn’t have a technical foul, but still trying to figure out why did I get the second one.”
The box was changed after the third quarter to indicate Kerr had received the first technical.
The officials acknowledged after the game they did not handle the situation very well.
Goble said he thought he had verbalized to the table that the initial technical was on Kerr, but said after watching the video that he should have done a better job with that. The problem then worsened when the officials didn’t catch the public address announcer saying it was called on Green.
“The procedure is to advise the table who the technical foul is on and with the player we give a number. With a coach or trainer, we just verbalize and at that time we should listen to the PA announcer to who it is on,” Callahan said. “At that time, we did not do a very good job of listening to the PA announcer and we did not hear him announce it. I take full responsibility for that.”
Late in Game 4 last year, Green swiped at LeBron James’ groin and was subsequently given a flagrant foul. That gave him an accumulation of flagrant foul points and forced him to sit out Game 5 as the Warriors lost their chance to clinch the series, and they eventually fell in seven games.
So even though Friday was a bad night for the Warriors, at least they head home with good news.
“Thank God I get to play in Game 5,” Green said.
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