Mavs coach Carlisle irked by Durant elbow

 23 Apr 2016 - 14:21

Mavs coach Carlisle irked by Durant elbow
Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during game three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on April 21, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. Ronald Martinez/AFP

Los Angeles: Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle called out Kevin Durant on Friday for an errant elbow thrown by the Oklahoma City star in the Thunder's NBA playoff win over the Mavs on Thursday.

Carlisle said several moves by the Thunder crossed the line, but he was particularly steamed by Durant catching Mavericks center Salah Mejri on the chest as the two players were lined up for a free-throw attempt.

"There were four, what I would categorize as non-basketball physical escalations that were initiated by them," Carlisle said, "including one intentional, unprovoked elbow at the free-throw line that I didn't understand and I've never seen a guy like Kevin Durant ever do that to a player.

"Ultimately, that led to two more escalations between the teams," Carlisle added. "So I'm concerned about that. There's no place for that in our game."

Carlisle stressed that the incidents in question weren't responsible for the Mavs' 131-102 loss on their home floor, which gave the Thunder a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series.

"Look, we didn't play well," Carlisle said. "They played great. We've got to do more things to keep them from playing great. And we've got to be ready for physical play because they are initiating a lot of things out there."

Veteran Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki was involved in an incident when he got tangled with Thunder guard Andre Roberson.

"I just thought on back-to-back plays he tried to run through me and then we just had a few words," Nowitzki said. "I know he's a good kid. That's just part of a playoff series. There's no hard feelings. Just in the games sometimes, emotions are going to run high and there's some stuff discussed that's no big deal after the game.

"You're not going to get an award for gamesmanship in the playoffs," the German added. "You're trying to win, trying to compete. Usually game one, game two, you kind of feel each other out. By game three, you hate each other."