Clippers’ Marcus Morris reacts to Kristaps Porzingis’ ejection
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Monday night. The game’s final outcome read a 118-110 win for LA, but a quick dive into the game will show a lot more controversy, mainly between Kristaps Porzingis and Marcus Morris.
Porzingis was ejected from the contest midway through the third quarter after picking up a second technical foul in an altercation with Morris. Morris and Porzingis’ superstar teammate, Luka Doncic, had a verbal exchange after a foul call. Porzingis interjected, shoving Morris and escalating the situation.
Upon replay review, Porzingis and Morris were hit with technical fouls. While it was only Morris’ first tech, it was the disqualifying second tech for Porzingis. The Mavs big man had earlier picked up a technical foul for punching the air in frustration after what he felt was a bad foul call on him.
The Clippers went on to win the game, but Morris didn’t think Porzingis should’ve been ejected for what happened.
“I didn’t think it was much of nothing, honestly,” Marcus Morris said postgame. “I think Luka thought that I was being, I guess, extra physical or something, but if you look at the film I actually wasn’t doing anything. I didn’t think it was enough to get technical fouls. I wish that Porzingis played because it’s the playoffs, man, nobody should get thrown out in playoffs. I know that really hurt their team. Not my fault, but I didn’t think it was that serious.”
Marcus Morris to @MirjamSwanson on the Kristaps Porzingis ejection – “I didn’t think it was enough to get technical fouls. I wish that Porzingis played cuz it’s playoffs. Nobody should get thrown out the playoffs. Not my fault, but I didn’t think it was that serious.”#Clippers pic.twitter.com/LXZlwBywI9
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) August 18, 2020
While it was a bit of a soft technical foul, Kristaps Porzingis owned up to his mistake and said he had to be more aware of his situation after picking up a first-half technical foul.
“No, of course [I don’t think I deserved it],” Porzingis said after the game. “I understand we got into it a little bit and I saw him getting into Luka’s face and I didn’t like it. That’s why I reacted. That’s a smart thing to do from their part and I just have to be smarter and control my emotions next time, especially on the first one. I understand the second one, but the first one even though I felt like it was a clean block, they’re probably going to call that tech for throwing my hand every time, so I just have to be smart and not let my emotions get the better of me.”
Porzingis finished the game with just 14 points and six rebounds on 3-of-9 shooting from the field in 20 minutes of play. Dallas went small the rest of the way, relying on Maxi Kleber as their small-ball center.
After the game, NBA referee crew chief Kane Fitzgerald met with pool reporter Tim MacMahon of ESPN to answer questions regarding Porzingis’ ejection.
“The second technical foul was for being an escalator to the altercation which was confirmed via replay,” Fitzgerald relayed. “This being his second technical, he was ejected from the game.”
It was an unfortunate situation for a Mavs team seeing much of its core making its playoff debut. Luka Doncic set a playoff debut record with 42 points in the loss.
Game 2 between the Clippers and Mavs is on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.