On Christmas day, 36-year old Richard Jefferson showed he still had the gift of giving facials.
Down by 14 early in the 4th quarter, Jefferson dunked over/around/by/whatever Kevin Durant and then was hit with a tech for giving Durant a wink(!). KD hit the free-throw pushing the Warriors’ lead back up to 13.
“I was a little bit surprised by it, but I think they were trying to rein it in,” said Jefferson via ESPN. “The only thing I said to [referee] Sean [Corbin] was, given everything going on out here, a little look and smile and wink [is innocent]. There’s no screaming, there’s no yelling, there’s no fist pumping, there’s no nothing. Just a smile and a wink to another competitor. And KD wasn’t even offended. It’s not like KD said something back to me or felt like it was like, ‘Hey! Hey!’ There was nothing. But again, I respect the referees and the job they have to do.”
“You should get a tech if you wink,” Said a laughing Coach Tyronn Lue. “I’d rather he’d cussed him out or said something like that. If you wink, you should get a tech, yeah, for sure.”
Five minutes later, with the Warriors leading by just four now, Jefferson faked out KD and then threw down a poster dunk over (not around or by) Klay Thompson to cut the lead to two.
Jefferson wasn’t done. Up by one with 3.4 seconds left in regulation, Jefferson caused Durant to fall (foul?) on the final possession of the game, giving the Cavs a Christmas day comeback victory over the Warriors.
He also got another gift from Kyrie Irving, who offered to pay for Jefferson’s third tech this week.
“Kyrie has been paying so much money for me, I don’t know,” said Jefferson. “He’s been paying all these fines. I’m going to see what I can do to try and get it negated. But that’s why you have good teammates.”