Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins earned ejections on a testy night

Kevin Durant gets “held back” by teammates and earns an ejection. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant don’t appear to have any unique antipathy for one another, but they do tend to butt heads. In the final minute of the Golden State Warriorscomeback win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, Cousins and Durant’s squabbling earned them both ejections and an early trip to the locker room.

Cousins and Durant have bumped heads before. The last time they jawed at one another this intensely was during a simpler time. Cousins was a member of the Sacramento Kingsputting his hands on Durant during his final season with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This time, their ejections capped off a testy evening.

With just a minute left in regulation of this matchup, Durant and Cousins decided it was time for some extracurricular activity. What started off as a little smack talk after Cousins lightly shoved Durant for bumping into him on his way back down the court soon evolved into double ejections and both All-Stars barking at one another from a distance:

Durant appeared to take special exception to Cousins jutting his head toward Durant like a battering ram. The cameras didn’t pick up Cousins and Durant’s words, but their body language did all the talking, as Durant appeared to be trying to give Cousins the directions to meet him in Temecula. (What he lacks in strength, he makes up with passion and intensity.)

Cousins was itching for a fight, metaphorically speaking, all night. In the third quarter, he confronted Warriors big man David West for throwing Pelicans point guard Rajon Rondo like a rag doll and then slapped Draymond Green’s hand away. Tonight must have been Green’s turn to play good cop, as he also was the one attempting to calm down an enraged Durant.

The “nice guy” Warriors appear to be a remnant of the past. Teams are coming at their domes to make a point, and Golden State is embracing their ornery side. When opponents have pushed, they’ve roundhouse-kicked back. West epitomized that mentality in his postgame comments.

West may be onto something. After taking part in that ugly baseline scrum with the Washington Wizards in late October, Warriors players have gotten ejected in each of the team’s last three games. Shaun Livingston was suspended for Monday’s game in New Orleans after butting heads with official Courtney Kirkland during Sunday’s game against the Miami Heat. Durant also got the boot against the Orlando Magic on Friday night.


It remains to be seen whether Cousins or Durant will face any discipline, although, if recent incidents have established a precedent, it seems likely that they’ll each get fines for failing to leave the court in a timely manner. Cousins now has a league-leading seven technical fouls on the season; Durant’s right behind him with six.