The incident occurred with 4.4 seconds remaining in the Rockets’ 104-100 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Sunday’s Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Paul, who received his second technical foul and was automatically ejected, brushed referee Josh Tiven while arguing that Warriors guard Klay Thompson committed a loose-ball foul against him. The non-call on Thompson was correct, according to the NBA’s last two-minute report.
Paul’s ejection also matched the record for total ejections in the NBA playoffs of 12 from 1993-94 and 2002-03 — the last time the total reached double digits.
The playoffs have averaged 6.3 ejections in 28 seasons since ejections were first tracked in the 1991-92 postseason. There were just three in all of last year’s postseason.
Paul claimed after the game that he wasn’t aware of any contact with an official. Before practice Monday, he said any contact was “incidental.”
However, Paul acknowledged that he needs to do a better job controlling his emotions.
“I’ve definitely got to be better,” Paul said. “I shouldn’t have got those techs and put my team in those situations, but the game’s always going to be emotional. If I’m not emotional, I’m not me, but I’ve definitely got to be better for my team.”
Information from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this report.