For the second time this season, Thunder forward Kevin Durant said he needs to watch his mouth and cool it on the technical fouls.
“I just got to shut up,” Durant said after picking up his ninth this season Monday night. “I'm racking ‘em up, man. Sometimes I get too excited and voice my opinion when I shouldn't. I just got to shut up and play the game.”
Durant is now tied for the league's lead in technical fouls. He's joined by Carmelo Anthony, Matt Barnes, Kobe Bryant, DeMarcus Cousins and Blake Griffin.
It's unclear what Durant said or did to receive Monday's technical. Immediately after the official called it, Durant pleaded his case to no avail. Depending on what he said, and to whom he actually said it, there is a possibility Durant gets the technical foul rescinded by the league office, although he hasn't had one rescinded all season.
After the game, Durant took responsibility for his actions but did not provide details into what exactly he said.
“I shouldn't have got a tech,” Durant said. “I just went up and talked to him and he got me one. But that goes back to the ones I've gotten before. I guess they watch and they're looking for them now. I just got to shut up and play my game and just fight through it.”
Under league rules, players will receive a one-game suspension when they accumulate 16 technical fouls in the regular season. An additional one-game suspension is then levied with each two additional technical fouls. The count resets once the playoff starts, and players will then receive a one-game suspension upon reaching seven technical fouls and another one-game suspension for each two additional technicals.
The Thunder recorded back-to-back games of double digit steals in the previous two contests and is averaging 8.9 steals in its past 10 games.
That tally would rank the Thunder third in the league behind the Los Angeles Clippers (9.96) and Memphis (9.07).
The Thunder currently is averaging 8.27 steals, which is tied with Miami for 10th, and is on pace to be the most the franchise has finished a season with in the Oklahoma City era.
“We talk about getting steals through our defense, not by gambling,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “And there's a difference. Sometimes when you gamble a bunch of times you're going to get some steals, but you're going to give up a bunch of opportunities for easy shots and layups. But our defense has been doing a good job of staying in with what we do and letting the defense get the steals.”
BROOKS NOT LOOKING TO SEND A MESSAGE TO LIGGINS
When guard DeAndre Liggins picked up his second technical foul in two games late in the first quarter Saturday at Cleveland, Brooks immediately yanked him out of the game and never put him back in.
On Monday, rather than playing his customary first-half minutes, Liggins didn't get in against the Mavs until mop-up time.
“No, not at all,” Brooks said when asked if he was trying to send a message. “There's no question he can't, and our team can't, continue to get technicals. We just have to play with a lot of emotions but keep our emotions to ourselves. But that wasn't nothing. I don't want him to get technicals. But (Monday) night, I wanted to go with a shorter rotation.”
Warriors center Andrew Bogut is back in the lineup after missing 38 games while recovering from foot surgery. It's unclear if he'll play against the Thunder because Golden State is on the second night of a back-to-back. … Durant recorded his 10th double-double of the season Monday and his third in the past five games. …Golden State had won four straight going into Tuesday's game at Houston. …The Thunder is 32-5 when leading at halftime and 32-2 when leading after three quarters.
By Darnell Mayberry