Ahead of a Game 3 matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers superstar center Joel Embiid told reporters he should have been ejected for elbowing Jarrett Allen in Game 2 and shouldn't have laughed when discussing the moment after the game:
Embiid and Ben Simmons initially seemed to laugh off Embiid's initial apology:
That didn't sit well with the Nets:
Embiid—who is out for Game 3—was given a flagrant-1 foul for his elbow on Allen in the second quarter of Game 2. He was spinning in the post with both hands on the ball and swung his elbow up high, connecting squarely with Allen's face.
The officials replayed the foul but determined it didn't merit a flagrant-2 foul, which would have led to an automatic ejection.
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Embiid reiterated Thursday night that he was simply trying to make a basketball play.
"That's not what I meant to do," he told reporters. "I was just trying to be aggressive and make a basketball play, and sometimes you've got to use your elbows to create separation, especially into the chest."
With or without Embiid's second apology, the intensity has increased in the even series between the Sixers and Nets. Shots have been fired by both sides, and Thursday's crucial Game 3 should be heated.