Raptors-Nuggets game ends in controversial fashion with Scottie Barnes ejected
Scottie Barnes was tossed with under 30 seconds remaining after questioning the integrity of the referees.
TheToronto Raptorsappeared to be on their way to one of their most impressive wins of the season on Monday, outplaying the Western Conference-leadingDenver Nuggetsfor the vast majority of the evening.
But things unravelled for Toronto in the dying minutes, with the team finding itself on the wrong end of back-to-back coachs challenges before a soft foul call onJakob Poeltlled to aScottie Barnesejection. Denver would hit the ensuing free-throws to ice the118-113 win.
Scottie Barnes was ejected for the first time in his career on this play in the final seconds of the itter.com/ebyhWL9Twt
NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA)March 7, 2023
Its unclear exactly what Barnes said to the officials to warrant the decision, but his body language didnt seem to be anything outlandish, especially given the one-point score differential with under 30 seconds remaining in the contest. It was the first time in Barnes young career that he was tossed from a game.
I was just saying something to myself and I guess he took offence to it, so just kicked me out of the game,Barnes told reporters.
Scott Barnes (@ScottBarnes561)March 7, 2023
Referee Scott Foster said the reigning Rookie of the Year was ejected for using verbiage which directly questioned the integrity of the crew.
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was visibly frustrated on multiple occasions down the stretch of the game and was disappointed with the whistle, especially after reviewing the calls in question on film after the final buzzer.
I think it was a great game that looked like it was coming down to a great ending and it was a little bit unfortunate we didnt get to see a good ending,Nurse said. Especially on the one Scottie got ejected on, there was nothing there, nothing.
Scottie wasnt involved, they called the foul on [Poeltl] and there was nothing there.
Despite the tough-luck loss, Nurse was still impressed with the Raptors effort in one of the NBAs toughest arenas to play in.
We play like that, were probably going to be able to beat anybody, Nurse said. We probably outplayed them and executed really well and all those things. We just didnt quite get it done at the very, very end.
Scottie Barnes was ejected in the dying moments of the Raptors loss to the Nuggets. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Perhaps the Raptors can use this defeat as motivation for a tough week ahead. Toronto has road dates with theLos Angeles ClippersandLakersbefore returning home for a rematch with the Nuggets next Tuesday.
Toronto currently sitsninth in the Eastern Conferenceand is five games back of theBrooklyn Netsfor the sixth seed with 16 games remaining. Seeds seven through 10 in each conference are relegated to the play-in tournament.
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