Despite playing lackluster in the first half, the Wizards had a chance to mount a comeback at the Golden State Warriors.
They were trailing 69-57 when point guard John Wall was ejected in the third quarter. He received his second technical foul –- the first came in the opening quarter for complaining about an illegal screen by David Lee –- for threatening Klay Thompson.
Wall could be heard daring Thompson to drive to the basket so he could get payback for two physical plays Thompson executed on him.
“He was just frustrated. I didn't think it was that big of a deal, though. I know John. I've played with him. In that moment, I understand,” Thompson said. “You’re frustrated. After you get fouled hard, then the next play you think you get fouled hard again. He’s competitive. He let his emotions get the best of them.”
Lee tied up Wall on a jump ball as he drove the lane and it appeared he got away with a foul by striking him over the arm first. Then Thompson on consecutive plays drew Wall’s ire.
He hit the floor hard on a fast break when Thompson broke up the easy basket by hammering Wall as he extended for the layup. Wall was slow to get up but hit the two free throws. On the next possession, both were battling position. Stephen Curry was trying to feed Thompson, who is three inches taller at 6-7.
Thompson kept wall pinned on his hip, but Wall still reached over to deflect the pass and force a loose ball on the sideline. As he reached to try to collect it, Thompson used his left hip and shoulder to keep Wall from getting the ball. Wall slammed to the floor hard again. The Warriors kept possession.
The jawing started by Wall as Thompson looked expression-less. It didn't appear that he even responded to Wall's promise to "knock your (expletive) out" if he tried to drive to the basket. They were issued double technical fouls.
“You get an early technical you can’t get into anything, talking on the floor,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “ You got to know that. He’s got to learn that. Hopefully it’s a lesson.”
The Wizards had a chance to finish the four-game road trip with a winning record, but instead settled for 2-2 after Saturday’s 101-92 loss.
“We had a chance to win this game and my actions let (the team) down” Wall said. “The calls weren't going our way. (Golden State) got a little too physical. We had some words back and forth, and I got my second technical.”
Thompson continued to empathize.
"I would've been unhappy, too, but I’m not trying to get kicked out,” he said. “It is what it is.”