James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers
James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers was ejected in game 3 of the NBA playoff matchup between the Sixers and the Nets after an inadvertent hit on Royce O'Neal. Michael Reaves/Getty Images


  • Critics blast James Harden's ejection in Game 3 of the Sixers-Nets playoff matchup
  • Harden's ejection overshadows Joel Embiid's kick on Nick Claxton
  • The Sixers can wrap up first-round playoff assignment on Saturday in Brooklyn

The Philadelphia 76ers are now up three games to none, but that game was not spared from controversies.

James Harden was ejected with only 13.6 seconds left in the third quarter of the Sixers' Game 3 first-round NBA playoff matchup against the Brooklyn Nets after Royce O'Neal ended up sprawling following a seemingly accidental hit from the 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player.

In video clips that have now spread over the Internet, Harden could be seen preparing for his move against the 29-year-old cager.

In the play, O'Neal could be seen leaning his chest on Harden. As the 10-time All-Star made his move, the 6-foot-6 forward got an inadvertent hit to the midsection and the whistle was blown.

The play was reviewed by game officials and in the end, Harden was assessed a flagrant foul 2 and ejected. This call left the Sixers confused and the Brooklyn crowd in delight.

In the eyes of fans who caught a glimpse of the incident, most felt that it was unmerited.

The whole incident also brought up an earlier incident, a play that involved Joel Embiid.

This happened in the first quarter when the Sixers center reportedly kicked Nic Claxton in the upper leg/groin area.

The 29-year-old was assessed a flagrant foul 1 after kicking his leg up toward Claxton's groin.

This was just moments after Claxton had scored on a dunk on Embiid who fell to the floor after committing a foul.

As the 24-year-old stepped over the fallen Cameroonian, Embiid kicked up his legs.

In the eyes of those who witnessed it, Embiid should have been thrown out of that game. Claxton was also assessed a technical foul for stepping over the Sixers center.

When the smoke cleared, the Sixers still came out with a win, 102-71.

This gave Philly a commanding 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff matchup, pushing the embattled Nets to the brink of elimination.

The Sixers will try to wrap up the series on Saturday, April 22, on the home floor of the Nets with the tip-off set at 1:00 PM ET.

Tyrese Maxey, Joel Embiid
NBA fans are weighing in on the Flagrant Foul 1 assess on Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers who kicked Nic Claxton of the Brooklyn Nets in the groin. Keith Pompey/Twitter