SALT LAKE CITY – They went at each other again Wednesday night in Phoenix.
Suns big Deandre Ayton felt like Warriors All-Star Draymond Green was trying to get under his skin in Phoenix’s first meeting this season which ended in a 29-point victory on Oct. 25 at Footprint Center.
The two received technical fouls in the game with Ayton’s coming after a physical play with Green.
On Wednesday, Ayton and Green were called for technical fouls with 4:16 left in the fourth quarter of Phoenix’s 130-119 victory over the defending NBA champions.
“I don’t know what he’s saying,” Ayton said after Wednesday's game. “I just focus on the game. You can’t really get me out of character.”
Referee Marat Kogut gave Ayton and Green a tech as the two were going back and forth walking down the court after Ayton was called for an offensive foul.
“I was locked in on just finishing off the game,” Ayton said. “You can’t be talking to me when we’re up by so many points.”
The Suns were up 120-106 at the time of the double techs.
“Anything that you’re saying to me is just going through this ear and out the other,” Ayton continued. “I probably said some stuff to make you hear it and we both got a tech.”
Their back-and-forth started to intensify when Ayton was trying to post up Green, who at 6-6 is five inches shorter. With Green fronting Ayton, Mikal Bridges delivered the pass over the top to his teammate.
Green was called for a foul.
Green then started talking to Ayton, who verbally responded. Green later pushed Ayton in the back and Ayton responded with an elbow that missed.
This all happened before the ball was put back in play.
Six seconds later, Ayton was called for an offensive foul when he extended his forearm out in the paint at Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, who reacted with his hands up and going backward out of bounds on the baseline.
Green clapped in reaction to the call and started talking to Ayton as the two headed back up the floor. Once both crossed halfcourt, Ayton and Green were in full chatter mode as Suns wing Damion Lee stood between the two.
"It's all in the sense of the game," Lee said. "At the end of the day, all of us that are playing, we're all part of a brotherhood. We understand the big logo of NBA on our chest, but when we're out there between the lines, guys will talk. Guys will have conversation, but nobody is really buddy buddy."
Lee and Green were teammates at Golden State.
"I obviously know Draymond to be a competitor and I'm continuing to learn with DA and the competitor he is," Lee continued. "Guys aren't backing down in the sense that anything is going on between the lines. Guys are trying to win for their respective clubs."
Seeing this unfold, Kogut gave Ayton and Green technical fouls.
A total of 12 technical fouls have been called between the two teams in the two matchups so far this season with each receiving six. Warriors guard Klay Thompson received his first career ejection in 651 games after drawing two technical fouls in the Oct. 25 game.
“It’s always a chippy game when we play those guys, but we have to manage that better, especially in closing moments, all that stuff counts,” Suns coach Monty Williams said after Wednesday’s game.
The Warriors and Suns square off two more times in the regular season – Jan. 10 and March 13 – with both games being played at Chase Center in San Francisco.
"It's the respect level," Lee said. "Golden State has been the pinnacle of the NBA essentially since 2014-15 and everybody has been trying to catch up."
The Warriors have won four NBA titles in eight years.
"They've had an amazing run and are still in their run as defending champions," Lee continued. "You can never discredit any of that, but I just think it's just the battle. You've got damn good players on that side and damn good players on this side. Storylines kind of write themselves as it goes, but just understanding that's the end goal for us is to get what Golden State has and has had for years."
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Deandre Ayton, Draymond Green chippy again in Suns win over Warriors