Forwards Brooklyn Nets strikers Jared Dudley and Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons are engaged in a persistent enmity sparked by post-game commentary and resolved, for the moment, by a fight that ended in the stands.
Dudley was ejected Saturday from the Ners' 112-118 victory over the Nets in Game 4 of their first-round series. Philadelphia leads the series 3-1.
The fight began after Game 2, when Calf-injured Dudley told reporters, "Ben Simmons is an excellent player in transition and once you've made him into the semi-court, he is average. "
Simmons quipped, "It's from Jared Dudley. Come on. "- and scored 31 points with nine assists in the third match. Dudley did not score and scored a three-point attempt. Simmons reveled in this miss, so Dudley corresponded to his celebration after getting three points in the fourth match.
A few minutes after Dudley's bucket on Saturday, both players were involved in an altercation. Sixers center Joel Embiid fouled Jarrett Allen of Brooklyn as he climbed into the middle of the third quarter. Dudley pushed Embiid after the whistle, Sixers guard Jimmy Butler pushed Dudley and just about every player on the field went over the baseline. Simmons interposed between Dudley and Butler, and the Nets pulled him back in the bleachers.
Dudley and Butler were both expelled from the match while Embiid was given a flagrant foul. It was the fourth expulsion from his career for Dudley, who became the fourth player of the season to be thrown out after a incident with Embiid.
After the match, Embiid was asked about Dudley.
"First of all, he's nobody," said Embiid. "And when opponents try to do these things, it's just to get us out of the game. Above all, I'm too valuable to my team. That's why I did not react. I did not do anything and I did not think it was a blatant mistake because I was also playing ball. But in this kind of situation, I have to stay calm and mature. "
It was Embiid's comments after the second game that prompted Saturday's tight game. Embiid nudged Allen's face during this competition, which resulted in a flagrant foul 1 after an official examination. At his post-match press conference, the Sixers' center burst out laughing apologetically and had to regain his composure.
"OK, I'm sorry for that. It's just me trying to be aggressive, "he said.
Embiid admitted the next day that he should have been ejected from the elbow. Dudley noted Saturday that he had certainly noticed that the Sixers were laughing at the coin in front of the bailer.
"Of course, send a message," he said Saturday. "When you have a guy who makes a big mistake, Joel Embiid is the second league player in flagrant faults, so for that elbow, he was just a blatant 1, no fine, no laugh, the media, if you think that the team I'm playing on is going to have that, that's another thing to come.
Dudley had been working at Boston College for four years before the Charlotte Bobcats picked him 22nd overall in the 2007 NBA Draft. He led the Aigle in the ACC championship game against Duke in 2005, where they were defeated by a three-pointer from the current Sixers guard, JJ Redick. Boston College participated in the Sweet Sixteen Tournament of the NCAA Tournament the following year.
The Sixers can eliminate the Nets in match 5 Tuesday at 20h.
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