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Draymond Green hailed hero by Dubs after comeback vs Pels amid risky 17th tech


Photo: Golden State Warriors/Twitter

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has picked up his 17th technical foul of the season in the middle of the team’s 120-109 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Green got heated with Brandon Ingram during the 3:44 mark of the second quarter. As the big man was called for a foul against the star swingman upon bumping him in transition, the two went face-to-face shortly and had some clash of words. Both players were separated by their teammates, and received respective technical assessments. The shove by Green, upon review by the officials was converted to a flagrant 1.

Seconds after, Green almost picked up another technical as he went up with Herb Jones. The two ended up tangled with each other after a chippy offensive foul by the veteran. 

For Green, the aggresiveness he has shown on both the risky occasions was only urgent to lit the fire for the Warriors, who were down by 17 heading at halftime break, 63-46.

“I knew we needed a boost,” Green said, who finished with eight points, 13 assists and six boards. “We were just kind of flat. We had no energy. We let those guys get wherever they wanted to go. I just wanted to get us fired up and once the foul happened, they started talking. 

“It was a hard foul, but it wasn’t dirty. He didn’t jump or anything. I caught him on the floor. I hit him with a shoulder. Once they started talking they gave me an in to get us fired up. I used that and we got going.”

Eventually, what Green desired for his squad turned to perfection. Golden State was able to claw their way back to the game inch-by-inch in the second half. They trimmed New Orleans’ lead to single digits at the third frame and relied on towards the hustle of Donte DiVincenzo and brilliance of Stephen Curry.

The battle-tested Warriors capped off the final frame with a 35-18 blitz to earn their 40th win of the season and occupy the sixth seed of the Western Conference. In the eyes of coach Steve Kerr, Green was the hero of their Tuesday victory who propelled them with his fiery persona.

“Draymond [Green] willed us to victory tonight,” Kerr said. “Just his intensity, his frustration early with the way we were playing, mad at the world, yelling at everybody, their bench, our bench, me. And frankly, we all deserved it.

“That first half was as poor as we’ve played all year and we weren’t engaged, and that’s what makes Draymond special. It’s not just the amazing basketball IQ, defense and playmaking, but it’s just sheer will. He was key tonight.”

Though Green is facing a $5,000 fine for his technical over Ingram and just one more call away from another game suspension this regular season, his recklessness somewhat turned into a blessing in disguise for the Warriors to wake up and keep their pace for the hunt towards security of a playoff spot.

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