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Billy Donovan urges Carmelo Anthony ejection should have been reviewed

Carmelo Anthony’s ejection from Sunday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers didn’t go unnoticed by the fans, his teammates, or the league — drawing plenty of banter regarding the fairness of his exit from the game.

Melo drove baseline and went up strong against center Jusuf Nurkic, who was nailed with an elbow in the face during Anthony’s shooting motion.

After the big man fell to the ground grabbing his face, Melo was ejected from the game with a Flagrant 2 foul, despite getting an and-one opportunity in the play.

“I didn’t say anything wrong. I think there was just a lot of hostility tonight,” Anthony said of the ejection, according to ESPN’s Royce Young. “I didn’t use any profanity. I didn’t yell. Actually, I think I had a smile on my face. I don’t know. I wanted them to just officiate the game the right way, whether it was going with us or going with them — just officiate the game the right way, that was my point. Make it even, make it right, but officiate the game the right way.”

Carmelo Anthony

Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports

His head coach Billy Donovan was careful to toe the line when questioning the accuracy of the call.

“I’ve never seen in the history of the game a guy get an and-1 play and then get ejected from the game,” Donovan told reporters after the game. “That’s probably something you’ve got to talk to the league about.”

The referees had deemed the contact excessive and unnatural — but a slow-motion replay showed Anthony had to lower his elbow in order to get the shot off comfortably, after jumping with his left leg, which allowed for the finish at the rim.

“I thought that play should’ve been reviewed,” Donovan said. “It may have proven nothing, but I think when someone gets hit in the face and goes down to the floor and you’ve got to call timeout, you should at least review it, just to make sure. I don’t know why they reviewed the other one.

“I probably didn’t ask Russell to stay down on the court long enough to get it reviewed.”

billy donovan

Wade Payne/The Associated Press

Without pointing fingers, Donovan expressed his disappointment with the way calls have gone thus far into the season for his team.

“What’s more concerning to me is our opponents have gotten to the free throw line 50 more times than we have,” Donovan said. “And we’ve got a player in Russell who clearly, historically in this league, has gotten to the free throw line as much or if not more than anybody else in this league.”