Official Bill Kennedy called two quick technical fouls on Nowitzki after he complained about a no-call with 9:16 remaining in the third quarter. Nowitzki thought Clippers forward Drew Gooden shoved him in the back before grabbing an offensive rebound.
"Bill, that's a two-hand push!" Nowitzki hollered after Kennedy whistled him for hacking Gooden on a layup attempt.
When Nowitzki continued complaining, Kennedy screamed, "Bam! Right there!" as he called the first technical foul. The second technical foul was called after Nowitzki said something in reply.
It was the third ejection of the 12-year veteran's career. Nowitzki, who scored 18 points in 19 minutes and left with the Mavs up nine, was not available for comment.
"That was a bad decision by Dirk," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "It puts the team in a terrible situation, and he knows it was wrong. If you get a technical, you get one and make your point, then you've got to let it go. He's too important to us."
Mavs owner Mark Cuban spent much of the third quarter screaming at Kennedy from his courtside seat. Cuban acknowledged that he "absolutely, positively" would have made comments that would have drawn a fine from the NBA office if the Mavs lost the game, but he avoided specifically discussing Kennedy's call and decision to eject Nowitzki.
Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.