Golden State Warriors superstar forward Kevin Durant said he must be "more poised" after getting ejected for the third time in the last 18 games during Monday night's 125-115 road victory over the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center.
Nick Friedell of ESPN.com passed along comments from Durant, who felt the latest ejection was "pretty quick" after he got into an argument with Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins, about the recent run of getting kicked out of games.
"I got to be more focused, I got to be more poised," he said. "I can't let anybody take me off my game. I've been in the league too long. Especially somebody like Cousins, we know that he's feisty, we know that he's emotional. We know that he plays that way, so I can't get involved in that. That's who he is; I got to be me."
Durant and Cousins were both ejected with just over a minute left in the Western Conference clash. The reigning NBA Finals MVP said he makes sure not to put himself in any danger of getting tossed earlier in a game, which could put the star-studded Dubs at a disadvantage.
"It's late in the game. Every time I get ejected, I make sure it's late in the game," he said. "I'm not messing up like that in the first or second quarter—make sure it's late in the game if I want to do something."
Nevertheless, the 29-year-old Washington, D.C., native now leads the NBA with three ejections during the 2017-18 season. Cousins' second made him the only other player with more than one.
Durant entered the campaign with one ejection in 703 regular-season games across 10 years in the NBA.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he's "definitely" going to discuss the topic of composure with his team in the coming days, per Friedell.
Golden State, which owns the league's third-best record at 19-6, returns to action Wednesday night when its six-game road trip continues with a stop at the Spectrum Center to face off against the Charlotte Hornets.