Philadelphia 76ers' star James Harden was ejected versus the Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs after fouling Royce O'Neale in the groin area, via ClutchPoints. He received a flagrant 2 and was presumably tossed for what the official may have deemed intent.
Chaos ensued in the Barclay's Center. After Joel Embiid got a flagrant 1 for kicking Nic Claxton in the first half and minutes before Claxton himself was ejected for earning a second technical, Harden was surprisingly dismissed from the action at the end of the third quarter. The 33-year-old visibly elbowed O'Neale near the top of the key, but such an occurence rarely results in an ejection.
James Harden has been ejected from Sixers-Nets Game 3 for his groin shot to Royce O'Neale 👀
Good ejection or bad ejection?pic.twitter.com/PdOV69VuZ6
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 21, 2023
The blatant nature of the act obviously factored into this instance, though. James Harden was having a productive night, scoring 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field to go with four assists and five rebounds. Those type of offensive numbers will answer the pleas of fans who want to see prime Harden unleashed in this postseason. However, an untimely ejection might overshadow all of that.
Ultimately, the Sixers rallied to win the pivotal Game 3. Tyrese Maxey came up big once again with a team-high 25 points. Any hope for the plucky Nets is now eradicated.
The multiple ejections and technical fouls come on the heels of Draymond Green's ejection and controversial suspension for Game 3 between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings. Many fans believed Embiid should have been similarly punished for his altercation with Claxton.
The Nets center received a technical as well for his part in the encounter, and then got hit with another for taunting in the fourth quarter. For the second time this week, the discretion used by the officials will be a main talking point.