Steph Curry was ejected late in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ game against the Grizzlies Wednesday for throwing his mouthguard. Though the star point guard wasn’t present for the end of the game, his 34-point performance was key to Golden State’s 122-120 comeback win.

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The ejection occurred with 1:18 remaining in the game when the Warriors were still trailing by two. Golden State shooting guard Jordan Poole took a long-range shot early in the team’s possession, frustrating Curry to the point that he threw his mouthguard in anger as Memphis regained possession.

“You want something really bad, like just getting the win,” Curry said. “I reacted in a way that obviously put myself out of the game and put the team in a tough place, but the intentions and energy around what matters and the sense of winning, that’s what it’s about.”

Oddly enough, Poole later proved to be the team’s savior while Curry was confined to the locker room. The rising talent scored on a last-second layup soon after to put the Warriors in front and complete a 10-point comeback in the final six minutes. After the game, Poole jokingly threw his own mouthguard while celebrating with Curry in the locker room.

With the win, the Warriors improved to 24-24 on the season, a subpar record for the reigning champions but nevertheless an improvement after a turbulent start to the season.

This is the third time in Curry’s career that he has been ejected for throwing his mouthpiece, a fairly common way that the four-time champion has expressed frustration in the past. He was ejected from Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals for the same offense, as well as a 2017 regular season game (coincidentally against the Grizzlies).

In isolation, it appears that this ejection was simply a product of the moment, as Curry overreacted to a key play in the game. That being said, Golden State has struggled late in games in recent weeks, dropping games to the Nets and Celtics despite leading for significant portions of both contests. Curry implied that pent-up frustration was also a factor in Wednesday’s incident.

“It was a crucial time in the game, and the way that our season has gone, there’s questions about the heightened sense of urgency,” Curry said. “Every detail matters.”

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