OAKLAND - About an hour after the Golden State's Game 1 victory over the Clippers Sunday evening, Kevin Durant seemed to dismiss any notion of problems following his ejection for arguing with Patrick Beverley.
Two days later, Durant took a short, more apologetic approach when asked about the exchange.
"I don't wanna disappoint my coaches, my fan base, and owners who expect me to be on the floor," Durant said hours ahead of Game 2 Monday afternoon. "So I apologize for being thrown out the game."
Throughout Golden State's 121-104 win, Beverley and Durant, who finished with 23 points and four rebounds, exchanged a number of verbal disputes. Beverley, after being called for a foul, mocked Durant after the Warriors forward flailed his arms as he took a step out of bounds following the whistle.
When Durant fouled Beverley in the fourth quarter, the former MVP stood over the Clippers guard, before the two were thrown out. Following the game, Warriors coach didn't seem pleased with Durant's actions, considering the Former NBA Finals MVP picked up two technicals in the first game of the postseason, with the seventh garnering an automatic ejection.
"He took the bait," Kerr said. "That's two technicals, your seventh one is a suspension in the playoffs. Whether you play four games or 24, seven is the magic number. He's got four to play with."
Following Game 1, Durant seemed in good spirits, despite the ejection.
You know what he's going to bring to the table, just physicality, the mucking up the game a little bit with his physicality, his talking, everything," Durant said. "That's what he brings to each team he plays on. That's his identity,
and they support him with the Clippers. For me, I know that coming into the series. I thought it was fun tonight.
Two days later, his tone seemed to change with time to reflect.
"In the moment it was cool," Durant said Monday. "But just the reaction after the game, I don't want coach or my teammates or the organization upset with me because of some sh*t I did. I don't want to get in the way of what's going on on the floor. It's a huge distraction and I don't want that to be a part of the series, I just want to play. It looked like it was a distraction."
"This is not about me or Patrick Beverley," Durant added when pressed more on the subject. "This about the Clippers versus the Warriors."
In recent years, Durant has had trouble with technical fouls. Last season, he finished third in the league in technicals with 14. This season, he upped the number to 17, leading the league. In the playoffs, the tally resets to zero, with a seventh technical triggering an automatic suspension. With that in mind, Durant has a different strategy heading into Game 2 Monday evening.
"Just keep my mouth shut throughout the game," Durant said. "Simple."