Nick Nurse gets ejected for the first time as coach
In DeMar DeRozan’s first visit to Scotiabank Arena as an opponent, it was his former’s team’s rookie head coach that briefly stole the spotlight. With three minutes and 33 seconds left in the Toronto Raptors’ game against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, Nick Nurse earned his first ejection as an NBA coach after arguing with longtime referee Marc Davis.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse was ejected after arguing with an official in the 3rd quarter. pic.twitter.com/QiaP99OY3f
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 23, 2019
The first technical here seems understandable. Nurse walks past half court to lobby Davis even as his players are headed past him toward the bench, and Davis is trying to calm the situation by heading the other direction. Nurse was basically begging for his first technical. But the second? Perhaps Nurse uttered one of the league’s unwritten forbidden words while huddling with his coaching staff before earning his second technical foul. Otherwise, it seems like Davis might have been overreacting here, and the response from the normally mild-mannered Nurse indicates as much.
Fortunately, the focus of Friday’s game was on far more than Nurse, and Kawhi Leonard made sure it lived up to the hype. After struggling with his shot all game long, Leonard ripped DeRozan’s dribble in the backcourt with just over 20 seconds remaining in a one-point game, then streaked the other way for a go-ahead dunk.
The Raptors went on to beat the Spurs 120-117.