Warriors' Kevin Durant ejected for arguing with ref in first game back

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Kevin Durant's return didn't last as long as expected.

In his first game since a six-game absence to recover from a rib injury, the All-Star small forward picked up two quick technical fouls late in the first half of the Golden State Warriors' 116-107 loss Thursday against the Milwaukee Bucks and was sent to the showers with 2.4 seconds left in the second quarter.

Durant's night ended early after he argued with official Tre Maddox, claiming he was fouled on his way to the basket.

"I got fouled and told 'em how I felt about it, and they kicked me out. Pretty simple," Durant said after the game.

As the quarter was coming to a close, Durant was battling for post-up position on Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Durant couldn't quite get in front of Antetokounmpo, and he then went near the top of the key to receive the ball.

Moments later, he maneuvered around Antetokounmpo and drove hard to the basket. Though there was some contact amid the traffic inside the paint, there was no foul called.

Durant fell to the court and then immediately got up and into the face of Maddox. After promptly being hit with one technical foul, Durant ran toward the official again, earning his second T, which resulted in an automatic ejection.

Durant, whose night ended with 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting in 17 minutes, stood near the Warriors' bench in disbelief before heading to the locker room.

Crew chief Bill Kennedy issued a statement at the request of a pool reporter:

"Mr. Durant was ejected due to the fact of two technical fouls. The first technical foul was issued for vulgarity. After the first technical foul was issued, the official tried to walk away, started to walk away, and the vulgarity escalated, and then he was assessed a second technical foul for the escalation of the vulgarity, resulting in an ejection."

It was the 14th technical Durant has picked up this season and his fifth ejection. He's two techs away from an automatic one-game suspension.

Durant's five ejections are tied for the most by any player in a season in the past 15 seasons (Larry Sanders in 2012-13). The only player with more in a season in the past 25 years is Rasheed Wallace (seven in 1999-00 and 2000-01).

Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked if he has to have a talk with his players about technical fouls piling up.

"Well, if there is, it would not be something I would discuss with you guys," Kerr said.

Durant dismissed the narrative that he's out of control.

"It was a tech," Durant said. "I got thrown out of the basketball game. I wish I didn't. I wanted to play. I'm sorry. Well, I'm not sorry, but I wish I could finish the game. ... Definitely wanted to finish the game. That's [what] I'm more so upset about -- that I didn't finish the game I wanted to play after being out a couple of weeks. Like I said, I'll be there tomorrow at practice and be ready to do my job, which is to work hard and get better. That's the good thing about it; I can move past it when I wake up."

Antetokounmpo said the game changed in the Bucks' favor after Durant was tossed.

"We're happy because we frustrated them," Antetokounmpo said. "We were in the passing lanes, we were physical. ... He's one of the best players in the world, so when he went out of the game, we were kind of happy, but we still had to do our job."