October 8, 2019 / 9:59 AM / 10 months ago

Knicks' Morris ejected from preseason opener

Marcus Morris didn’t last all the way through the New York Knicks’ first preseason game.

Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris (13) shoots over Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith (14) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Now it’s unclear if he will be available at all in the team’s regular-season opener.

The newly acquired forward was ejected Monday after being assessed a flagrant-2 foul early in the second half of the Knicks’ 104-99 win over the host Washington Wizards.

According multiple media outlets, after the NBA completes its standard review of the flagrant-2 call, if it upholds the ruling, Morris would be suspended for the Knicks’ first regular-season game.

Morris apparently didn’t realize that when he got into it with Washington’s Justin Anderson. With Anderson guarding him at the top of the key, Morris repeatedly swung his elbows near Anderson’s face, then bonked Anderson on the top of the head with the ball, though Morris never let go of the ball. The players subsequently got into a verbal exchange.

“Am I concerned (about a suspension)?” Morris told reporters afterward. “I would be concerned if it was regular season. I wouldn’t want to miss any regular-season games. If that was regular season I wouldn’t have done that.

“My team needs me. I’ve got to be smart, set a better example. But like I said at the beginning, we’re not taking any (guff). So it is what it is.”

Morris played 19 minutes before his ejection, racking up 17 points (tied for the team high), seven rebounds and two assists. Rookie RJ Barrett also had 17 points for New York, and Taj Gibson scored 16.

Moritz Wagner led Washington with 16 points, and Thomas Bryant contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Morris, 30, signed a one-year, $15 million free agent deal with the Knicks in July. He spent the past two seasons with the Boston Celtics after previously playing for the Houston Rockets (2011-12 to 2012-13), the Phoenix Suns (2012-13 to 2014-15) and the Detroit Pistons (2015-16 to 2016-17).

Last season, he averaged 13.9 points and 6.1 rebounds in 75 games (53 starts), leaving his career averages at 11.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in 545 games (292 starts).

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