Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant empathized with Steve Kerr after their coach was ejected during Wednesday's loss to the Trail Blazers for throwing a clipboard in response to a flagrant foul call.
Kerr was enraged late in the fourth quarter when Draymond Green was called for a flagrant foul after he stopped Zach Collins from approaching the rim as he went up for a shot.
That drew Kerr's ire and after ranting in one official's face, he slammed a clipboard down to earn an ejection, with Durant having to escort his coach back off the court.
The Warriors lost, 129-107, but will head into the All-Star break with the best record (41-16) in the Western Conference.
"It was an emotional game. We fought really hard for 43 minutes," Curry told reporters afterward. "One questionable decision — the flagrant — obviously the fire came out. You see Coach go and throw a clipboard. At that point you try to get us over the hump. An eight-point swing, it's tough to overcome."
"I looked at the replay and the amount of ball [Green] got, there was nothing excessive about it, he got all the ball.
"There was a lot of chirping, with Zach involved. There was probably a sensitivity to it, trying to put out some fires, but I thought it was a terrible call. We obviously paid the price for it with how everything unfolded after that."
Durant shared that sympathy having been the one to pull Kerr away from the officials as he continued to rant at them.
"I felt for him, I understand his anger and his rage, especially for that call," Durant said. "I thought we should have just kept playing, It was a common foul, I thought. Refs looked at it differently.
"I understand why coach was a little frustrated."
Kerr explained that it was the disbelief at the call that triggered his reaction.
"I was just shocked that that was called a flagrant foul," he said. "I'm not sure how it's determined — if it's in New York or the officials on the call — but that was head-scratching, that that could be called a flagrant foul.
"The guy's going to go in for a dunk, you've got to make sure he doesn't dunk it.
"So, I told [official] Kenny [Mauer] that I beg to differ. There might have been a couple of other words in there too.
"I'll have to ask the owner if the clipboard broke when I threw it down. I got a little anger out, so that was good. I was too busy yelling to ask for an explanation."