Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid courted controversy in Game 2 of their NBA playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets.
Embiid, defended by Nets big man Jarrett Allen, looked to spin towards the basket but caught his opponent with a vicious elbow on the way through.
He was assessed a flagrant foul for the play, which left Allen bleeding from the lip and basketball fans questioning why he wasn’t ejected from the game.
Many labelled the play ‘dirty’ and ‘disgusting’.
the refs really only gave Joel Embiid a flagrant 1 for attempted murder
— Dan Favale (@danfavale) April 16, 2019
Yet another reason the @NBA and @NBAOfficial are making me hate this game more and more every year. They really just said two players jostling for position qualifies as the same penalty as that elbow Embiid just purposefully clocked Allen in the neck/face with. Disgusting.
— RG (@rgee2378) April 16, 2019
Honestly losing respect for Joel Embiid. Pulling dirty moves that are not within the game of basketball. #NBAPlayoffs
— Cameron Richardson (@therichreport) April 16, 2019
That was dirty Joel Embiid. You know you're not supposed to raise your elbows like that on a spin move.
— Omar Hersi (@HerciMerci) April 16, 2019
They let Joel Embiid get away with a UFC elbow @NBAonTNT
— The Lord of iiight (@ARealOne_) April 16, 2019
Charles Barkley belives Joel Embiid’s elbow should have been a flagrant 2
“You just can’t hit people in the face. That should have been a flagrant 2.”
Shaq on the other hand strongly disagrees #NBAPlayoffs
— Chris Milholen (@CMilholenSB) April 16, 2019
That should have been a flagrant 2 and an ejection for Embiid. If you don’t think he meant to elbow him in the face on purpose, you’re lying to yourself…
— Daniel Ford (@DanielJFord) April 16, 2019
Embiid should've been ejected, what a disgusting and intentional thrown elbow… I expect better. pic.twitter.com/ChOQLm4fPE
— griffin (@griffinp_10) April 16, 2019
— Mack Taylor (@MackTaylor2001) April 16, 2019
Allen was able to rejoin the game with no trouble, but Embiid would continue to dominate in the second half.
Teammates laugh it up
Embiid and Aussie Ben Simmons openly laughed about the incident after the game.
After Embiid brushed it off as “unintentional”, both burst out laughing.
“I got him pretty good but I’m sorry about it,” Embiid said.
“It wasn’t intentional…I’m not usually humble, that’s why he’s laughing.”
Sixers' Joel Embiid & Ben Simmons crack up laughing while Embiid was trying to apologize for flagrant elbow to Nets' Jarrett Allen during Game 2 win: "I got him pretty good but I'm sorry about it. it wasn't intentional. …. I'm not usually humble that's why he's laughing." pic.twitter.com/Ll1wuTHEk3
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 16, 2019
Simmons shuts up booing fans
Philadelphia fans embraced Simmons with the city’s trademark brotherly love, instead of boos he received in Game 1.
The Australian had a triple-double as the 76ers he pounded the Nets 145-123 at Philadelphia’s Well Fargo Center on Monday to even their eastern conference first-round series 1-1.
The 145 points was a franchise play-off record and they scored 51 of the in a third-quarter blitz.
The Nets inflicted a surprise nine-point win in Saturday’s game one at the same venue and the crowd booed Simmons and the 76ers for their substandard effort.
Simmons had them on their feet in game two with a masterful 18 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds and two steals – to join Wilt Chamberlain and Charles Barkley as the only Sixers with multiple playoffs triple-doubles.
Simmons started the game aggressively and scored seven of the 76ers’ first 14 points.
In the third quarter he stole the ball from the Nets’ All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell and raced down the court for a basket.
The crowd stood and applauded the Australian’s inspired play.
Simmons, who responded to the crowd’s boos on the weekend by telling them to “stay” on Brooklyn’s side, triumphantly put his right hand up to his hear as the crowd stood and cheered his steal and basket.
Embiid had another big game with 23 points and 10 rebounds despite battling knee issues and Philadelphia’s other Australian, rookie Jonah Bolden, had one point and three rebounds.
The Nets were led by Spencer Dinwiddie’s 19 points.
The best-of-seven series moves to Brooklyn with game three on Thursday and the game four on Saturday.