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Dennis Schroder speaks out on crotch shot of P.J. Tucker

Dennis Schroder, Thunder, P.J. Tucker, Rockets

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder said Sunday his groin shot on Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker in Game 5 was unintentional, per Nick Crain of Forbes and SLAM Online.

Schroder said he would never attempt to hurt anyone, and he also insinuated he harbors no ill will toward Tucker given the two played together in Germany.

The two players came together in a tense exchange on Saturday. Tucker came over to set an on-ball screen, and then he promptly doubled over after apparently getting hit below the belt.

Tucker was called for an offensive foul, but he immediately got up and headbutted Schroder, though he was yelling about the groin shot as he was escorted to the bench.

The referees went to the replay and eventually decided to eject both Dennis Schroder and P.J. Tucker from the contest. Both teams — notably the Thunder — appeared somewhat incredulous at the decision.

The NBA is investigating Tucker’s headbutt, as well as Schroder’s low blow. It is unknown whether the two players will face further discipline, but a suspension would probably be more consequential for the Thunder.

Schroder has been one of OKC’s best offensive threats throughout the course of the series. After struggling in the first two games, Schroder responded by scoring 59 points over the next two matchups, both Thunder wins. The 26-year-old also had 19 points in nearly 21 minutes prior to being ejected.

The Thunder desperately need Dennis Schroder on the floor as they hope to stay alive in the series. Schroder is pleading innocence in the hopes he can stay in the rotation for Game 6, but the decision will ultimately rest with the league office.

The Rockets lead the Thunder in the series, 3-2.