Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry explained throwing his mouthguard as just the way he needed to vent his frustrations during the NBA Finals.
The MVP was ejected in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' 115-101 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in game six on Thursday.
Curry reacted angrily to fouling out, throwing his mouthguard and hitting a fan at Quicken Loans Arena.
Asked about his displeasure afterwards, Curry said he simply needed to vent during a frustrating game - which LeBron James dominated with 41 points and 11 assists.
"We have to show some fire for game seven," he said.
"It's a great opportunity for us at home in front of our fans to, again, try to win a championship. So we're going to need some emotion and some grit and toughness for that game.
"I had some stuff I wanted to get off my chest tonight after the way the game went and that was it."
Curry said he was also unimpressed with the officiating that saw him finish with six personal fouls in his 30-point game.
The 28-year-old felt the decisions were unfair on him, leading to his uncharacteristic response.
"I've thrown my mouthpiece before. I usually aim at the scorer's table. I was off aim," Curry said.
"I definitely didn't mean to throw it at a fan, but it happened. I went over and apologised to him because that's obviously not where I was trying to take my frustration out.
"But the last two fouls I didn't think I fouled either Kyrie [Irving] or LeBron. That's just kind of my perception of the plays and I had a reaction to it.
"It was obviously frustrating fouling out in the fourth quarter of a clinching game and not being out there with my team-mates. So it got the best of me, but I'll be all right for next game."