Game official Brian Forte managed to reverse his earlier decision of ejecting DeMarcus Cousins clearing him of any wrongdoing. Forte’s call would have changed the complexion of the match wherein the Kings defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 126-121.
Forte argued that after calling a technical foul on Cousins for taunting the Blazers’ bench and ejecting him, he investigated. He told pool reporter Mike Richman he talked to Blazers’ Coach Terry Stotts and the officiating crew before reversing the decision.
“I called a technical foul because I thought DeMarcus [Cousins] threw his mouthpiece into the stands. It ended up underneath Portland’s bench,” Forte said. “I conferred with my partners and they confirmed that he did not throw the mouthpiece. And that it came out of his mouth that that’s how it ended up there.”
How did it happen
Tied at 119-all with 35.2 remaining, the Kings went to Cousins, who bailed them out. Cousins managed to score on a power move and a foul against Blazers’ Mason Plumlee down the paint. Everyone, including Cousins, celebrated the basket too much that his mouthpiece fell off towards the Blazers’ bench.
It was at this moment that Forte thought Cousins taunted the Blazers’ bench and got hit with a technical foul. Cousins got called for his second technical foul that resulted in his ejection from the game. He did not argue the call, running straight to their locker room, but Forte reviewed and conferred with fellow officials.
After making sure Cousins made no violation, Forte reversed his decision and recalled the center back in the game. Cousins would make the free throw giving the Kings the lead. The team would hold on to beat the Blazers with Cousins blocking Damian Lillard’s drive to the hoop.
Cousins would finish the game with 55 points with 13 rebounds for the Kings while CJ McCollum top for the Blazers with 36.
What Cousins has to say about the incident
Cousins denied spitting his mouthpiece towards the Blazers’ bench, adding he would never do such thing. He explained that he was talking towards the Blazers’ bench when his mouthpiece came out.
Cousins added he would have torn down the team’s locker room had Forte did not reverse his call. He got frustrated, claiming innocence and got lucky for being called back to finish the game.
“I saw the replay, so I can see why people could be mad. But I was talking to the bench and it came out,” Cousins explained. “I’d never spit on anyone. I’m not like that.”
Before playing against the Blazers, the Kings slapped Cousins with $50,000 for confronting a Sacramento Bee columnist. The Kings noted that they will not suspend Cousins, who already apologized for his actions.
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