The Golden State Warriors made their 122-120 comeback Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, despite the odds being stacked against them after the team’s star Stephen Curry was ejected late in the game’s fourth quarter.
The ejection–a rarity for Curry–occurred after Curry saw Jordan Poole take a shot and miss it instead of passing it to him. Curry then clapped his hands at Poole after what Curry later said was an ill-advised 3-point attempt by his teammate. As he was running back on defense, Curry, in a moment of frustration, took out his mouthguard and threw it on the court.
Though Curry’s reaction wasn’t directed toward any of the game’s officials, they hit him with a technical foul and promptly ejected him on the spot. He finished with 34 points and shot 10-of-19 from the field in 35 minutes.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Steph Curry ejected. 😳<br><br> <a href=”https://t.co/b5Mvv9h3QS”>pic.twitter.com/b5Mvv9h3QS</a></p>— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) <a href=”https://twitter.com/TheHoopCentral/status/1618486436210307075?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 26, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
“It was a crucial time in the game, and the way our season has gone, […] every detail matters”, Curry told NBC Sports at a conference after the game. “I reacted in a way that put myself out of the game, put the team in a tough place […] I kind of let my emotions get in the way of it.”
According to Curry, his teammates took it well, as the Warriors were vying for a much-needed win in order to boost morale.
“I didn’t see what happened at the time,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “When the ref called it, I was confused. Then the coach told me he threw the mouthpiece down out of anger […] He knows he can’t make that mistake again.”
The Warriors held a thin 2-point lead with only 73 seconds left in the game when the ejection came.
Poole, who didn’t realize why Curry appeared upset until after the game, made up for his missed shot at the game’s very end. With just one second left, Poole sank a heavily contested layup on an inbound pass to score the Warriors their 2-point victory.
Aside from Curry and Poole, Klay Thompson gave 24 points to the Warriors, with Jonathan Kuminga being the only other player to hit double digits with 13 points. The win lifted Golden State to 24-24 on the season, and was its fourth win out of seven games.