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USA TODAY Sports
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant said referee James Williams targeted him in the second half of Tuesday’s 123-112 victory over the New York Knicks, leading to the All-Star’s fourth ejection of the season late in the fourth quarter.
Durant claimed the official held a grudge from a disagreement in the first half and carried it into the second when he issued two technicals.
“He went to halftime probably with an attitude,” Durant told reporters after the game. “So (in) the second half, his whole thing is like, he’s trying to get me.
“When we see (the official, James Williams) again, I’m sure he’ll still be in his feelings. …This is a bad season for us (players) and the refs, as far as our relationships are concerned.”
Durant, who finished with a career-high 14 assists in the victory, was whistled for his first technical foul by Williams in the third quarter after slamming the ball in frustration. Then late in the fourth quarter, Durant screamed a profanity at another official, Brett Nansel, about a no-call on the previous play. Williams then issued Durant his second technical — sending him to the locker room.
Durant explained the initial back-and-forth in the first half.
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“I was dribbling up on the right side,” he said. “I made a right-to-left cross. (The official) said I carried. He kind of let that go. I asked him where did you get the carry from? He said I froze the defender. I said, ‘That’s what a crossover is for, and that’s why I do it, to freeze my defender.’ He tried to make a bunch of excuses and I told him he was wrong…
“Look at my first tech. I got the rebound and I dribbled the ball hard and he teched me up,” Durant said. “He was searching for me. He was looking to try to tech me up to get me back because he was still in his feelings from the first half.”
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