Oklahoma City’s Game 3 win in Dallas on Thursday night turned into a 29-point drubbing that flip the momentum of the series on its head after the banged up Mavs eked out super close Game 2 in Oklahoma City. Perhaps it’s just how mismatched the two opening-round opponents are that’s led to so much physical play in the series. But, if you ask angered Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, the “cheap shots” are only coming from the Thunder side.
By way of ESPN, here’s Carlisle’s full quote about the Thunder after Game 3, specifically Oklahoma City star, Kevin Durant:
“There were four, what I would categorize as non-basketball physical escalations that were initiated by them, including one intentional, unprovoked elbow at the free throw line, which I didn’t understand,” Carlisle said Friday. “And I’ve never seen a guy like Kevin Durant ever do that to a player. Then ultimately, that led to two more escalations between the teams, the fact that that was missed. I’m concerned about that. There’s no place for that in our game.”
Well, actually, it wasn’t missed; perhaps because of Carlisle’s visceral reaction and public denunciation of such an acclaimed player, KD was assessed a post-game technical for the elbow, perhaps the first time it’s ever happened.