NBA regular season

Draymond Green ejected for smacking Jusuf Nurkic as Suns hold off Warriors


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Draymond Green ejected for smacking Jusuf Nurkic as Suns hold off Warriors

ROUGH. Suns center Jusuf Nurkic lays on the court after being fouled by Warriors forward Draymond Green during the third quarter.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Even minus Kevin Durant, the Suns escape a Warriors side that saw Draymond Green ejected again, this time for a wild open-hand punch

Devin Booker recorded 32 points and 7 assists, and the Phoenix Suns overcame the absence of Kevin Durant to post a 119-116 victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, December 12 (Wednesday, December 13, Manila time).

Jusuf Nurkic had 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists as Phoenix improved to 3-0 against the Warriors this season. 

Durant missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle.

Golden State’s Draymond Green was ejected with 8:23 left in the third quarter for delivering a wild open-hand punch to the face of Nurkic.

Nurkic was defending Green and had a hand on Green’s hip when Green turned and swung and made contact. 

The blow sent Nurkic down to the floor and an offensive foul was called on Green with 8:23 left in the third quarter.

The three-person officiating crew reviewed the video of the play and upgraded the original call to a flagrant foul 2 with referee Brian Forte terming Green’s actions as “unnecessary and excessive contact to the face.”

Green, a four-time All-Star, has been prone to incidents throughout his career. 

Last month, he drew a five-game suspension for “forcibly grabbing” Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert around the neck during an altercation.

Green, 33, had 2 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in 17 minutes prior to his ejection on Tuesday.

Stephen Curry scored 24 points and Brandin Podziemski added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Golden State, which lost for the 11th time in the past 15 games. The Warriors dropped their sixth straight road game.

Phoenix’s Bradley Beal, meanwhile, returned from a 12-game absence due to a back injury and had 16 points in 27 minutes.

Beal lalso knocked down a jumper that gave the Suns an 88-87 lead entering the final stanza.

Curry scored 16 first-half points as Golden State led 56-53 at the break. Booker scored 13 in the half for the Suns.

Jordan Goodwin scored 16 points and Chimezie Metu added 14 for Phoenix, which won for just the second time in six games.

Jonathan Kuminga had 16 points while Chris Paul and Dario Saric added 15 apiece for Golden State.

Booker made two three-pointers in a 66-second span while scoring 10 points during a 12-0 burst that gave Phoenix a 109-96 lead with 3:56 remaining.

The Warriors rallied within 115-110 on Kuminga’s thunderous dunk with 1:03 left. Podziemski added consecutive layups to bring Golden State within one with 15.4 seconds remaining.

Booker made two free throws with 9.4 seconds left to give Phoenix a 117-114 edge. 

Curry missed a potential game-tying three-pointer with just over five seconds left before Beal knocked down two free throws with five seconds to go as the Suns closed it out.

Phoenix made 45.2% of its shots, including 14-of-39 from three-point range.

The Warriors connected on 44.6% of their attempts and made 16-of-46 from behind the arc. –

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