Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green ejected during Game 1 vs. Memphis Grizzlies – USA TODAY

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Golden State Warriors defensive star Draymond Green was ejected with 1:18 left in the second quarter in Game 1 of the second-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

Green attempted to defend a point-blank shot from Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke, and in the process, Green hit Clarke in the face and grabbed Clarke’s jersey, pulling him to the ground.

Initially ruled a flagrant foul, it was upgraded to a flagrant foul two and automatic ejection.

“After review, the foul has been updated to a flagrant foul penalty two. Draymond Green has been ejected for the windup to the face, impact to the face, follow through with the jersey and the throw-down to the ground,” referee Kane Fitzgerald announced.

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr and segments of NBA Twitter were not happy with the ejection. Warriors guard Steph Curry just shook his head and smiled, and Green left the court antagonizing Grizzlies fans. Of course, another segment of NBA Twitter thought the punishment just.

Green had six points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals, and Golden State’s chances of taking Game 1 became more difficult with Green’s ejection.

Memphis took a 61-55 lead into halftime but lost 117-116.

The Warriors and Grizzlies, unsurprisingly, had different viewpoints of the ejection. 

“It’s a tough call, obviously, on the road, start of a series and you get a guy like Draymond headed to the locker room … nobody wants to see that. It’s not good for the game,” Curry said. “I didn’t think it deserved (an ejection), obviously.” 

“He’s been known for flagrant fouls in his career,” Clarke said of Green. “I wasn’t really shocked. I don’t really like to flop or nothing but he hit me pretty hard twice, really, when I saw it again.

“…It’s not shocking that he did that, it’s something he’s done in the past.”  

After the game, Fitzgerald offered more explanation saying “the contact in total was considered unnecessary and excessive.” He also said grabbing Clarke by the jersey and throwing him to the ground left Clarke vulnerable. 

Green was not available to reporters after the game, but from his hotel room in Memphis, he conducted an “emergency podcast.” When Green addressed the ejection, he added “not quite sure for what.” Green said he was trying to ease Clarke’s fall once he realized he had grabbed his jersey.