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Video: Rockets’ P.J. Tucker gets ejected after yelling at referee

The Houston Rockets had another run-in with the officials.

This time, though, it wasn’t Chris Paul, James Harden, or Mike D’Antoni whose on-court frustration boiled over into an ejection. Rockets forward P.J. Tucker was kicked out of his team’s game against the Miami Heat on Thursday in the third quarter after complaining about a questionable offensive foul call.

Yikes.

The Rockets 6-foot-6 combo forward is lucky Harden and Houston’s coaching staff were able to keep him from yelling at the officials at a closer distance. He’s already been fined for this outburst, and it’s easy to imagine the situation quickly growing worse had he been able to engage with the referees more directly.

On the other hand, Tucker’s abject anger is certainly understandable on more fronts than one. First, players get away with walling off defenders from nearby shooters constantly, and it seems like Goran Dragic exaggerates the amount of contact between him and Tucker, anyway. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Tucker is ejected by an official standing on the other side of the floor, who can only see his back.

League rules state that players are entitled to an initial, natural reaction of an official’s call without being subject to punishment. Tucker was certainly animated here, likely doing enough to earn one technical, but two in quick succession? Here’s hoping the league retroactively rescinds his suspension.

Not that doing so would help the Rockets on Thursday, of course. They trail the Heat midway through the fourth quarter of a close game.