Thunder forward Nick Collison and New Orleans guard Austin Rivers were ejected in the second quarter of the Thunder’s 101-89 loss to the Pelicans on Monday night.
The two exchanged shoves and had to be separated before coming to blows.
The incident began on a Thunder offensive possession. Collison attempted to set a screen on Rivers, who took exception to the contact and pushed Collison. Collison threw both arms in the air and looked around for the refs to make a call. It didn’t come.
As the two transitioned to the other end, Collison then took matters into his own hands, delivering a forceful forearm shove into Rivers’ back. Rivers turned and charged at Collison, who appeared to briefly cock back his fist. The two were then separated and a double technical foul was called before referees reviewed the incident and upgraded it to double ejections.
It was the first ejection of Collison’s career.
COLLEGE PLAYER OF THE YEAR A THUNDER FAN
Creighton forward Doug McDermott, who was being presented with the Oscar Robertson Trophy as the National Player of the Year at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards gala on Monday night at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, called the Thunder his favorite NBA team.
“I’m actually a big Thunder fan,” McDermott said. “I’ve always liked Kevin Durant and the thing they have going here.”
McDermott, who is projected to be a first-round pick in the June draft, said he’s been a long-time follower of Durant.
“When he was at Texas, my dad (Creighton coach Greg McDermott) was at Iowa State and I got to see him play in person so I’ve always liked him,” McDermott said. “(Russell) Westbrook definitely. We came down for a playoff game two years ago against the Grizzlies just to watch them play.”
IBAKA IMPRESSES AGAIN
Thunder forward Serge Ibaka scored 22 points with a game-high 16 rebounds and a career-high five assists against the Pelicans.
On Friday, Ibaka scored 16 points with 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots against New Orleans.
On Monday, Ibaka started hot, with eight points, three rebounds and three assists in the first quarter, and carried over his effort throughout. He also tied his career-high with 10 free throw attempts.
JACKSON PLAYS, WESTBROOK DOESN’T
Reggie Jackson started at point guard for the Thunder in place of Westbrook, who rested his surgically repaired right knee Monday.
Jackson’s status against New Orleans was unclear after he injured his neck Sunday at Indiana.
Jackson struggled all night, though, scoring four points on 1-for-7 shooting. He had just two rebounds, three assists and four fouls.
The Thunder went 9-for-32 from 3-point range Monday...Oklahoma City had 18 turnovers against the Pelicans. The Thunder had just 20 in the previous two games and 34 in its previous four…Durant finished with a game-high seven turnovers…Caron Butler scored 19 points on 6-for-9 shooting off the bench...The Thunder was outscored 44-32 in paint points...Monday’s game had 13 lead changes and 15 ties.