LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Enough time passed for Dallas Mavericks forward Kristap Porzingis to temper his frustration with an ejection that became a turning point in the team’s 118-110 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Monday in Game 1 of their first-round series. That time reinforced Porzingis’ conviction on a number of topics.
First, Porzingis remained blunt about whether he should have received his second technical foul of the game and subsequent ejection for intervening after Clippers forward Marcus Morris shoved teammate Luka Doncic after the whistle blew with 9:10 left in the third quarter.
Second, Porzingis contended that the Clippers’ preparations go beyond leaning on Kawhi Leonard (29 points) or Paul George (27) to score. It also involves Morris and Patrick Beverley rattling their opponents.
“They provoke us, especially me,” Porzingis said. “Not their main guys, but some of the other guys. That’s their job and that’s part of their game.”
Third, Porzingis conceded he should have navigated those land mines better.
“They got what they were looking for,” Porzingis said. “I have to learn from this and move on.”
Those in NBA circles were not as forgiving.