While Draymond Green did nothing Friday night to soften his reputation as a dirty player, at least he had an excuse for his chippiness.
After the Warriors’ 107-98 win over the Rockets, Green admitted he punched James Harden’s sore left wrist in the third quarter because the Houston guard kept pinching him in the stomach. In fact, Green saidhe’s used to that treatment from Harden.
“He pinched me,” Green said, per the San Jose Mercury News. “So I punched his wrist. That’s pretty much it. … He does it often actually. Which is kind of adolescent.”
So Green retaliated by going after the wrist that’s been bothering Harden, and he was called for the offensive foul.
"I thought it was a closed fist. I don't know," Harden said. "I don't know what (the referee) saw."
Of course, there are different perspectives on who'sto blame.
Yep, he definitely pinched him. pic.twitter.com/ckuLvnf0l3
— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) April 1, 2017
This dirty play by Draymond is just sad to see, Harden's wrist is hurt and he just takes a cheap shot. pic.twitter.com/9KPZ6voOjm
— HARDEN MVP (@SpaceCity4Life) April 1, 2017
But Green’s reputation precedes him. As one on a long list of examples, ESPN.com notes that during Golden State’s 132-127 double-overtime win over Houston on Dec. 1, Green was assessed a flagrant 1 for kicking Harden in the face while attempting a putback.
Friday night, it wasn’t just Green who got physical with Harden. ESPN reported Harden was “beaten up most of the night by the Warriors,” including being put on the floor earlier in the third quarter by a Matt Barnes screen.
Harden finished with 17 points on 4-of-18 shooting, as well as 12 rebounds, eight assists and six turnovers.