Harden ejected but not Embiid for shots in groin at.webp

Harden ejected but not Embiid for shots in groin at Nets – The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — James Harden made direct contact when he swung onto a Nets player’s groin. Joel Embiid’s kick to another player landed in a safer spot.

As a result, Harden was kicked out and Embiid dodged an ejection in Philadelphia’s 102-97 Game 3 win Thursday night.

Harden dribbled while being closely defended by Royce O’Neale as he swung his arm and hit O’Neale, who fell in pain in court. The umpires reviewed the play and charged Harden for an apparent foul 2, an automatic ejection after seeing evidence of where he had struck O’Neale.

“Based on the direct point of contact to the groin, it rose to the level of excess and expectoration,” said crew chief Tony Brothers.

Two quarters earlier, the 76ers may have been lucky that Embiid didn’t receive the same penalty.

He kicked his leg up Nets center Nic Claxton’s bara game that looked worse than Harden’s but received a less glaring 1.

Claxton had just dunked and Embiid fell onto the court after fouling him. Claxton then slowly stepped over Embiid, who kicked his leg in Claxton’s thigh area, before players from both teams rushed in.

After a video review, Embiid received a flagrant foul 1.

Embiid first joked that he couldn’t remember the play, but then said after it happened he knew he couldn’t get into arguments anymore.

“The whole game you could see what they were doing, just trying to uplift me,” Embiid said. “I’m too valuable, especially after the first one.

“I just realized I’m too valuable to get involved in these things.”

Nets fans booed after the decision, furious that the two-time top scorer wasn’t kicked out. Golden State’s Draymond Green was thrown out of Game 2 of the Warriors series against Sacramento and then suspended for Game 3 after stepping on Kings center Domantas Sabonis.

“The contact was deemed unnecessary and due to the point of contact with the leg, it was not excessive,” Brothers said.

Nets coach Jacque Vaugh couldn’t believe Embiid wasn’t ejected.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before in my career where a guy intentionally kicks someone in an area that none of us want to be kicked in and he keeps playing,” Vaughn said. “I’ve never seen that before. In a game and a guy can keep playing. Intention.”

Claxton received a technical foul for stepping over Embiid and was eventually ejected when he picked up a second tech in the fourth quarter.


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