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James Harden ejected from Game 3 vs. Nets on questionable foul call [VIDEO]

The referees will have to explain this one after the game.

Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets - Game Three
James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles against Royce O’Neale of the Brooklyn Nets during the first half of Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at Barclays Center on April 20, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Update: We have an explanation and the referees deemed Harden’s contact as excessive since it was directed at the groin area. While that might have been the case from the officials’ point of view, the video makes it seem like Harden’s arm went into O’Neale’s stomach and lower abdomen. Of course, this doesn’t absolve the officials of not ejecting Embiid for his kick towards Claxton’s groin area which just happened to hit his leg first.

Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden was ejected after delivering a questionable foul on Brooklyn Nets forward Royce O’Neale in Game 3 Thursday. There’s some contact, but there’s also some major theatrics from O’Neale.

Harden does extend his arm initially to create some separation and that can be considered an offensive foul by the officials, but there’s no clear contact to O’Neale’s face to the level that would merit an ejection. Against the backdrop of Draymond Green’s ejection for stomping on Domantas Sabonis, this seems weak.

It becomes even weaker when you consider Joel Embiid received only a Flagrant One foul for kicking at Nic Claxton earlier in this game. The officials have go to be consistent on calls, and that simply hasn’t been the case here. The league will have to address this, and a reporter will almost certainly ask for an explanation after the contest.

With Harden out, look for Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris to take over offensively as the 76ers look to grab a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.