Kristaps Porzingis Ejected from Mavericks vs. Clippers After 2nd Technical Foul

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

Dallas Mavericks' Kristaps Porzingis (6) leaves the court after being ejected from Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Kristaps Porzingis' night ended early after the Dallas Mavericks star was ejected in the third quarter of Monday's NBA playoffs matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The referees assessed Porzingis with his second technical foul after he stepped between teammate Luka Doncic and Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr.

ESPN @espn

A scrum broke out after this play between Luka and Marcus Morris. https://t.co/41gZIGsGCp

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Kristaps Porzingis was ejected after he received his second tech. https://t.co/aQoJcrI8KE

Some of Porzingis' NBA colleagues were disappointed with the referee's ruling:

LeBron James @KingJames

Man that was BOGUS AS HELL MAN!!!!! Cmon man. 🤦🏾‍♂️

Dirk Nowitzki @swish41

That ejection is super soft...

Kevin Love @kevinlove

...you can’t eject him Kristaps for that. Protecting the Mavs best player. That’s bad.

During a sideline interview with ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers also said he "hate[s] that," in reference to the call.

Following his team's 118-110 defeat, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle called the ejection "unfortunate":

Brad Townsend @townbrad

Carlisle on the Porzingis techs. https://t.co/eSxsYP5xba

Porzingis told reporters after the game that he didn't believe he should have been ejected, though he understood the call:

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

Porzingis breaks down what he made of his ejection https://t.co/mzJAi012vA

The general frustration was magnified because Porzingis' first technical resulted from him arguing with the refs after being whistled for a shooting foul on Paul George.

ESPN officiating expert Steve Javie defended the decision to eject the 2018 All-Star:

Sam Gannon @SamGannon87

NBA ref expert Steve Javie brought in on the ESPN broadcast and says Porzingis was an "escalator" rather than a peacemaker in the situation. Says the refs made the right call and were justified in calling the 2nd tech on KP, resulting in automatic ejection.

Crew chief Kane Fitzgerald explained the technicals after the game, noting Porzingis was assessed the second technical for "being an escalator to the altercation": 

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

The explanation on the Kristaps Porzingis ejection https://t.co/RqxD0G5lqB

Others, however, will counter that Porzingis did little to ultimately escalate the situation and was merely coming to his teammate's defense. And while the fans might not be in the arena, the emotions are running high among the players given this is a postseason game.

Porzingis' departure had an almost immediate impact on the game.

The Mavericks led 71-66 when he headed for the locker room with 9:10 left in the third. By the time the quarter ended, the Clippers overturned their deficit to go ahead 87-82.