Draymond Green and Rajon Rondo have had multiple heated interactions during the Western Conference semifinals between Golden State and New Orleans, and Game 3 on Friday night was no exception. "When have I went up to him and tried to bait him?". They are accomplished leaders who produce.
In Game 3, Rondo took the upper hand. There's a reason Green's teams have always won.
Both players are the "heartbeats" of their teams - the guys who prime the engines - and both will tell you that there's a connection between their yapping and their play. "Their defense was great", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
Even an outspoken Green gave Rondo a pass. He asserted that his awareness of Rondo's intentions is why he hasn't been suckered into escalations that could result in a technical foul or ejection. "That does nothing for me", Green said, insinuating that Rondo initiated their exchanges. "I'm just trying to match his intensity".
Green added: "At some point, somebody's got to tell the truth. It ain't Draymond this time".
Gentry said Green is playing by the book. Barkley later apologized for his word choice, if not the sentiment.
Can you credit Green's bad game to Rondo? "You're going to be face-to-face with somebody". 'Do's like: 'We're going to be respected. And if you're verbally weak, then he's going to take advantage of you.
Warriors lead 2-1. Game 4, 3:30 p.m. EDT, ABC. After being handled by the Warriors in the first two games of the series on the road, the Pelicans were already being written off by the majority of the media.
Golden State ultimately dropped the game by the score of 119-100 with New Orleans pulling the series to 2-1 heading into Game 4 Sunday afternoon.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Warriors stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. "We've got to be way more aggressive on both sides of the basketball".
Curry was more tight lipped about the incident. Kerr said he wasn't surprised to see Curry's production dip in his second game back. This is probably the play Kerr was talking about. In fact, he's not going to back down from anybody.
Rondo has been involved in several dust-ups with Warriors forward Draymond Green over the past two games, which Kerr didn't have an issue with. Houston scored 19 points off those turnovers.
"It's kind of just how I am", Rondo said about his competitive nature.
The Pelicans made 50 per cent of their shots (48 of 96), including 45.2 per cent of their three-point attempts (14 of 31).
ROOKIE STRUGGLES: Utah's Donovan Mitchell is averaging 16 points on 32 percent shooting in the series while filling in at point guard for Ricky Rubi. "That can't happen. It's like I would have been better off not showing up - and that's what I did". Total Fouls-Houston 19, Utah 19.