Quinones explains he’s trying to score at the end of the Warriors’ win over the Hornets

By | February 24, 2024

Quinones explains he tried to score at the end of Warriors’ win over Hornets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – Steve Kerr saw absolutely nothing wrong with Lester Quinones trying to score in the final seconds of the Warriors’ relatively easy 97-84 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night at Chase Center.

In any case, Kerr was surprised by the Hornets’ response.

Miles Bridges, who was whistled for goaltending on the play, was angry and started heading toward Quinones. His Charlotte teammate Grant Williams also seemed to take offense to the play and entered the fray as well.

The play made no difference in the outcome, but it was a major topic of discussion afterwards.

Quinones was assessed a pair of technical fouls for the altercation and was ejected. Bridges and Williams were also hit by technicians, while Williams joined Quinones and was thrown out.

None of it made sense to Kerr.

“For 10 years I told our team, ‘If there’s a shot-clock difference, you keep playing,’” Kerr said. “For me the game says you have to keep playing. We have always done it this way. No one is ever offended.

“(The Hornets) were under pressure in the last few minutes. You’re still playing the game. Once there is no longer a shot clock difference, sit on the ball and let the clock run out. But if there is a difference, I think guys should always keep playing. I find it very strange why that would be offensive to anyone. I never understood why that would be hurtful. No one has ever been mad at us in the past for doing that. Why take a turnover? The clock says: keep playing, keep playing. That should not offend anyone.”

Offend someone, that did it.

Players and coaches from both teams joined a crowd surrounding Quinones, Bridges and Williams near the Warriors bench. There was some pushing and shoving, but no punches appeared to have been thrown.

Afterwards, however, tempers continued to flare on both sides.

Quinones, a former two-way player who was converted to a standard NBA contract earlier this week, was confused as to why the Hornets were upset and why they reacted the way they did.

“The reason I scored was because I heard Steve say ‘go,'” Quinones told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I saw the one-second difference in the shot clock and Steve said, ‘Go, go go.’ And (the Hornets) were pushing, so I was like, ‘I’m going to get a layup.’ They were pointing at it and pushing me. I was like, ‘Bro, it’s basketball. If it was that serious you should have played defense. Then stop me.’ ”

That was the prevailing sentiment in the Warriors’ locker room.

Draymond Green, who has frequently feuded with opponents, was very candid about the incident.

“I don’t really understand why people get so angry when someone scores at the end of the game,” Green said bluntly. “It’s like a stupid unwritten rule that makes everyone angry. If you all won by 13 points, would you be mad if we put the ball down? I doubt it. It’s kind of a sore loser kind of thing.

“Miles is my husband, that’s my little brother, so I’m not going to sit here and comment on Miles. Miles can’t hurt me. But Grant Williams needs to quit, man. Things are definitely going wrong for him to be this tough guy. He’s a really nice guy. For some reason he keeps trying to take the unlikely side. I have to tell you, it’s not always fun here. It’s not always a good time. He has to figure it out. By talking too much, you left Dallas feeling like you were overdoing it. He talks too much there now. Maybe I want to go slower.”

After everyone was separated, Williams tried to approach some Warriors players.

“He came to our bank (and) thought he was about to get a boyfriend,” Green said. “There are no friends for you here, my husband. You gotta go out there and talk to your guys. You can’t come here and talk to us about what just happened to our player. No, we support him.

“You can’t press 13 with a minute left and then someone shoots a layup with (12) seconds left and gets mad. With 2:45 (minutes to go) we took out our entrees. Sit down, it’s over. The game is over, sit down. They wouldn’t sit down. So if you’re still playing, play. Don’t stop now because there are (12) seconds left and you finally feel like it’s out of reach. Obviously at 2:45 we thought it was out of reach, so Steve got everyone out. So now that you think it’s out of reach, you’re okay? Does it stop now? No, it doesn’t work that way. I’m really sick of guys saying this: ‘Oh, you scored at the end. Raaaar.’ Bro, you should have done that a long time ago.”

Quinones hasn’t gotten much playing time this season, so there were some questions about him simply trying to take advantage of the opportunity.

However, Kerr disagreed, saying it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. As long as a shot-clock discrepancy remains, the Warriors coach has historically told his troops to keep playing.

“If we’re down 20 and there’s a shot-clock difference, I want us to score,” Kerr said. “The fact that they were pressing and catching in the last few minutes, they kept playing. So we have to be able to keep playing. I really don’t think it’s a big deal, but for whatever reason there’s a bit of, I guess, some sort of strange dynamic that is somehow offensive. For me, (if) the clock tells you to shoot, you just shoot and play basketball until the end.

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