NEW YORK (AP) — James Harden made direct contact when he swung in the groin area of a Nets player. Joel Embiid’s kick fell to another player in a safer location.
That’s why Harden was fired and Embiid avoided being fired Thursday night in Philadelphia’s 102-97 Game 3 victory.
Harden was dribbling while closely defended by Royce O’Neal when he was He swung his arm and hit O’Neill, who fell in court of pain. The referees reviewed the play and called Harden for flagrant 2 fouls, an automatic ejection, after seeing evidence of where O’Neal hit.
“Based on the point of contact directly in the groin, it went up to overdrive and emission,” crew chief Tony Brothers said.
Two quarters ago, the 76ers might have been lucky that the same penalty wasn’t given to Embiid.
He kicked his leg up Nets center thigh Nick Claxtonthe play that sounded worse than Hardin’s but was given a less terrible 1.
Claxton had just been drenched and Embiid landed in court after fouling him. Claxton then slowly climbed over Embiid, who kicked his shin into Claxton’s leg area before both teams’ players lunged inside.
After reviewing a video, Embiid received a blatant error 1.
Embiid joked at first that he could not remember the play, but said after it happened that he knew he could not get involved in any more altercations.
“You could see what they were doing the whole game, just trying to get up on me,” Embiid said. “I am very valuable, especially after the first one.
“I just understood that I am very valuable to get into these things.”
Nets fans booed after the decision, angry that the two-time scoring champion had not been ejected. Draymond Green was fired from Golden State From Game 2, and then suspended for Game 3, of the Warriors series against Sacramento after he stomped on Kings center Domantas Sabonis.
“Contact was deemed unnecessary and based on the point of contact with the leg, did not rise to an excessive level,” Brothers said.
Nets coach Jacque Vaugh couldn’t believe Embiid wasn’t fired.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in my career before,” Vaughn said, “for a guy to intentionally kick someone in or towards an area that none of us want to be kicked, and keep playing.” . “I’ve never seen that before. In a game and a man can still play. Deliberate.”
Claxton received a technical foul for skipping Embiid and ended up being ejected when he picked up a second technique in the fourth quarter.
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