Warriors’ Draymond Green ejected after hitting Suns’ Jusuf Nurkic in face

Dec 12, 2023, 10:03 PM | Updated: 11:55 pm

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green...

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) shields the ball from Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green earned his third ejection of the season after smacking Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic in the face during Tuesday’s matchup at Footprint Center.

Green and Nurkic were jostling for position when the former spun around and swung his arm, connecting with the side of Nurkic’s face with his right hand in the third quarter.

Nurkic stayed down for a few moments but remained in the game, while Green was assessed a flagrant 2. The Suns picked up a 119-116 victory, their third over the Warriors this season.

Green told reporters after the game he was trying to sell a foul call and did not intend to hit Nurkic.

He said he apologized to Nurkic, admitting there was hard contact which warranted the flagrant 2.

“I also don’t think I’m an accurate enough puncher to do a full 360 and connect with someone,” Green said.

Nurkic saw it differently.

“I don’t know man. I was behind the play. What’s going on with him? I don’t know. Personally, I feel like that brother needs help,” Nurkic said. “I’m glad he didn’t try to choke me. At the same time, it had nothing to do with basketball.”

Green was ejected from a game earlier this season for putting Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a chokehold during a scuffle at half court.

He was suspended five games for that action, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski pointed out he’ll await a league office review for the possibility of another suspension.

The veteran has been ejected from 18 regular season games in his career, the most among active players.

Green played 17 minutes on Tuesday and scored two points with two rebounds and two assists.

This is the second straight matchup between the Suns and Warriors in which a prominent Golden State player got ejected. Chris Paul was handed a pair of technical fouls by official Scott Foster at Footprint Center on Nov. 22.

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Warriors’ Draymond Green ejected after hitting Suns’ Jusuf Nurkic in face