The fourth quarter of Thursday night’s game between the Warriors and Grizzlies in San Francisco got tense and featured a stunning ejection in the final 90 seconds.
Up two, the Warriors got second life on a possession thanks to a tremendous tip-out from Donte DiVincenzo, but for some reason, with the shot clock resetting, Jordan Poole decided to hoist a 32-footer with 12 on the shot clock that rimmed out.
Stephen Curry was, understandably, very mad about Poole’s terrible shot selection given the time and situation, and hurled his mouthpiece in frustration, sending it bounding into the crowd. That has gotten him in trouble before and did again, as he got ejected for the mouthguard toss, taking the Warriors best player off the floor for the final 74 seconds of a tight game.
While there was plenty of frustration from Warriors fans and casual observers to seeing Steph tossed in that spot, this is not exactly a new rule, as Steph has twice been tossed from games for a mouthguard throw — most famously in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals, but again early in the 2017 season.
This time was unique because he wasn’t aiming it at a fan or a ref this time, instead hurling it at the court in frustration at his own teammate’s poor game management. Still, there was too much force behind the throw and it ended up going to the crowd, which despite the protests from Curry, Poole, and Draymond Green, earned him a trip to the locker room where he’d have to watch a nervy final minute with no chance to play a role.
Luckily, Poole and Klay Thompson would have his back, as Thompson hit a three to push the Warriors up 1 after Memphis tied it. The Grizzlies would tie it again, but Poole would get loose on a cut to the rim on an inbounds pass for the game-winning layup, taking some serious heat off of himself for the shot that led to Steph’s ejection.