CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Thunder aren’t sure whether Draymond Green intentionally targeted Steven Adams’ groin area on Sunday night.
They just know they don’t appreciate it.
Green said he was just gathering himself after a foul by Adams when he kicked Oklahoma City’s center in the groin, and he feels the Flagrant 1 foul he was called for in Game 3 should be rescinded.
Perhaps the play wouldn’t have drawn so much attention if Green hadn’t kneed Adams in the same area in Game 2.
“It happened before, mate,” Adams, a 7-foot center from New Zealand, said. “He is pretty accurate, that guy.”
Adams and the Thunder beat Golden State 133-105 to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals, and the now-reeling Warriors could enter Game 4 Tuesday in Oklahoma City without their All-Star forward if the NBA deems the play worthy of a suspension after a review Monday.
Green said doing something like that intentionally is not his style.
“I followed through on a shot,” he said. “I’m not trying to kick somebody in the midsection. Somebody wants to have kids someday. I’m not trying to end that on the basketball court.”
The play was part of an ongoing battle between Green, an undersized but rugged 6-foot-7 power forward, and Adams, who has asserted himself with physical play and is one of the main reasons the Thunder lead the series.
“Honestly, I think it’s intentional,” Thunder All-Star Russell Westbrook said. “That’s two times in the last two games. I don’t think you can keep (hitting) somebody in their private areas.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr disagreed.
“Stuff like that happens all the time,” Kerr said. “There’s contact, people’s arms, legs flailing. If they think it’s on purpose, play the game, you know. This stuff happens all the time. Westbrook kicks out his feet on every 3 and there is contact. I mean, that’s just part of the game. So I don’t understand how that can be deemed a Flagrant 1. I think it should be rescinded.”
Green was called for the flagrant with 5:57 left in the second quarter, and the Oklahoma City crowd chanted, “Kick him out! Kick him out!”
Adams wasn’t aware of the crowd’s response.
“Straight to the drawers, you don’t think about any of that stuff,” he said. “It was rough.”
Thunder coach Billy Donovan said he was proud of Adams for not retaliating.
“He takes a physical pounding and he’s a tough kid,” Donovan said. “He’s got a great pain threshold, and, again, he doesn’t retaliate. He just tries to keep playing.”
The Thunder handled the situation well, outscoring the Warriors 24-7 the rest of the first half to take a 72-47 lead.
“It takes a little pain off my mind since then, I guess it kick-started us,” Adams said. “I guess you could say that.”
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