Durant, who finished with a triple double, scoring 33 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists, was apparently upset that Green didn’t give up the ball at the end of regulation with the game tied 106-106.
Instead of finding Durant, Green raced up the floor but ultimately had the ball knocked away before he could get a shot off. Television cameras caught Durant and Green exchanging words on the bench as both proud players had to be calmed down by their teammates before the start of overtime.
Neither player addressed the media after the game, but veteran point guard Shaun Livingston downplayed the heated exchange.
“Just team spirit,” Livingston said. “Team spirit. Guys wanted a different outcome than what happened. Obviously, Dray had the turnover, guys might have thought they were open or wanted the basketball, didn’t get it. Things happen like that in sports. But it was good to see some fire, some emotion.”
The words between Durant and Green overshadowed the fact the Warriors put on a great display of teamwork to even get themselves back in the game — rattling off a 19-5 run to close regulation and send it into overtime. Durant battled foul trouble throughout the night, but managed to hang in the contest down the stretch to help bring the Warriors back. Aside from the self-created fireworks on the bench, it was a questionable call from referee Marc Davis, one that gave Durant his sixth and final foul, which frustrated the group more than almost any other whistle.
“[Davis] said [Montrezl] Harrell did the swipe thing and that’s why he called it,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I don’t think that has to be an automatic foul. I didn’t see a foul on that. It looked like his hands were here and Harrell just kind of swung the ball through. That’s not what cost us the game.”
“I thought that was a tough call,” Livingston added. “They made a lot of tough calls. Questionable. It was a questionable call because he kind of lost the ball, kind of flopped, sold it. I don’t know if Marc [Davis] had the best angle, but he made the call.”
The Warriors were outscored 30-16 at the foul line, but Kerr noted that the Clippers deserved the victory. He didn’t blame the tough whistles on the loss, but the Warriors know some of those whistles changed the tenor of the game.
“I thought four of them were tough calls,” Kerr said of Durant’s fouls. “It was a tough night for Kevin and I just kept him out there because we’re obviously a little short-handed with Steph [Curry] out. And I like to let guys play through fouls anyway. There were a few tough ones.”
The Warriors certainly didn’t sound concerned that any hard feelings between Durant and Green in the moment would linger. They knew they didn’t execute at times when they needed to and are confident they will bounce back on Tuesday night against the Atlanta Hawks — another game they will be without Curry, as he continues to recover from a strained left groin.
“When we lock in we’re the best defensive team in the world,” the Warriors’ Klay Thompson said. “We proved that the last few years, we got the best switching ability in the league. … Unfortunately we lost, but we’ll see them again a couple times and be better.”
As for whether he was impressed by the Clippers’ defensive acumen, Thompson brushed off any major praise.
“I mean they’re good,” he said. “But they’re nothing special.”