Kristaps Porzingis’ playoff debut ended much earlier than expected.
The Mavericks forward was ejected from Monday night’s Game 1 against the Clippers after receiving his second technical foul early in the third quarter. Porzingis took exception to Marcus Morris’ hard foul on Luka Doncic, but Clippers and Mavericks players were quickly separated before the situation escalated.
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Following a review of the altercation, the officiating crew handed out technical fouls to both Morris and Porzingis, the latter of whom had received a tech in the first half for swinging his arm in disgust after earning a personal foul on a Paul George shot attempt.
Considering the NBA rulebook states the “assessment of a technical foul shall be avoided whenever and wherever possible,” this seemed to be a complete overreaction in both instances. ESPN rules analyst Steve Javie attempted to defend the decision during the broadcast, but if an arm swing and slight shove are automatic technical fouls, they should be called far more often.
NBA players, including Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki and Lakers star LeBron James, did not agree with how the referees reacted to the scrum:
Porzingis left the game with 9:10 left in the third quarter. He had 14 points and six rebounds, and the Mavericks led 71-66 at the time of his ejection.
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